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Vietnam is experiencing an export boom

In the first nine months of 2004, Vietnam is experiencing an export boom, with exports gaining an estimate of $19.8 billion, an increase of 27.2 percent over the same period of 2003, and more than double the National Assembly’s target of 11 - 12 percent increase for the whole year, according to preliminary figures released by the General Statistics Department.

The growth in exports has been achieved against a worldwide increase in prices of key import commodities. While foreign-invested companies earned $10.4 billion, an increase of 40 percent, the share of local exporters went up by 15.2 percent at $8.6 billion.

Experts have forecast exports for 2004 to exceed $25 billion or a 24 percent growth over the 2003 figure.

Revenue from crude oil exports went up by 14.4 percent at $4.47 billion, and the garment sector showed a healthy growth rate of

17.6 percent at $3.39 billion.

Turnover from footwear reached $1.974 billion, up 19 percent, wood products accounted for $741 million, up 86 percent, and rice, despite showing a 0.6 percent decrease in volume, went up by 22.7 percent at $772 million.

While other key commodities like coffee, tea and cashew fared well, seafood and electronics increased 1.8 and 50.7 percent respectively, earning $1.663 billion and $500 million.

Meanwhile, imports grew by 21.3 percent costing an estimate of $22.47 billion. Among expensive imports are five airplanes at a total expenditure of $488 million, and 8.315 million tons of fuel, worth $2.56 billion, up 12.2 percent.

The increase in world prices of key commodities drove trade deficit higher to $3.389 billion in the first nine months of 2004, and according to the GSD will reach $4 - 4.5 billion as the whole year’s imports have been calculated at $30 billion. Experts predicted such high trade deficit can, however, be controlled because the proportion in relation to exports was only 20 percent

Vietnam economic review - (28/09/2004)

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