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FTA - an export driver for many major commodities


In 2020, Covid-19 brought about unprecedented disruption to the global supply chain, however, Vietnam continued to achieve a large trade surplus, creating a hightlight for the economic picture.

Data from the Ministry of Industry and Trade shows that in 2020, Vietnam has a record trade surplus with nearly USD 19.1 billion, nearly double the surplus in 2019 (USD 10.87 billion).

 “Vietnam's trade surplus is mainly with developed countries, with strict quality requirements for imported goods such as the US (trade surplus of nearly USD 62.7 billion), EU (trade surplus of nearly USD 20.3. billion)”, said Ms. Nguyen Cam Trang, Deputy Director of Import-Export Department (Ministry of Industry and Trade).

With a record trade surplus of 2020, the total merchandise trade balance in the 2016 - 2020 period reached a trade surplus with figures of the following year higher than that of the previous year, making an important contribution to GDP growth, creating jobs, promoting consumption of goods, especially agricultural products.

Particularly for the EU market, in 2020, exports to the EU reached USD 34.94 billion, decreased by 2.3% compared to 2019, mainly due to the negative impact of the pandemic. However, after five months of implementing the Vietnam - EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), exports to the EU reached about USD 15.38 billion, an increase of about 1.6% over the same period in 2019. Many export products of Vietnam have had positive changes in the EU market following the implementation of EVFTA, typically seafood, shrimp, rice, etc.

Since the EVFTA took effect (August 2020) to the end of December 18, 2020, the authorized organizations have issued nearly 62,500 certificates of origin (C/O) to enjoy preferential treatment in the EU market, with a turnover of about USD 2.35 billion. The items that have been granted C/O are mainly footwear, seafood, plastic and plastic products, coffee, textiles, bags, suitcases, vegetables, bamboo- rattan knitted products; agricultural products; electronics, etc. This shows effectiveness and benefits right after the Agreement has been put into effect.

For the markets of the countries participating in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), since the entry into force of the Agreement, export turnover to the markets in the Agreement has also achieved a positive increase. In 2020, exports to Canada maintain a positive growth, reaching USD 4.35 billion, an increase of 11.9%; exports to Mexico reached USD 3.17 billion, an increase of 12.2%.


Kylie Nguyen

© 2019 Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development No. 2 Lang Ha street, Ba Dinh district, Hanoi, Vietnam
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