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Vietnam-U.S. 11-month bilateral trade exceeds $100 billion amidst global trade slowdown

Van Dat Friday | 12/08/2023 09:38

Photo: VnEconomy

Bilateral trade between Vietnam and the United States reached $100.62 billion in the first 11 months of 2023, despite a global trade slump.

The United States remained the largest importer of Vietnamese commodities from January to November, with $88.05 billion, a 13.1 percent reduction year on year. Meanwhile, Vietnam spent $12.57 billion on imports from the United States, a 6.4 percent decrease.

In the first 11 months, the Southeast Asian country enjoyed a trade surplus with the United States of $75.45 billion.

Last year, trade in products and services between Vietnam and the United States was valued at $142.1 billion, representing a 422 percent increase over 2012.

In 2022, US foreign direct investment in Vietnam was $3.5 billion, a 26.8 percent increase over 2021.

The aforementioned figure was revealed on December 6 in Hanoi during the Joint Council Meeting of the US-Vietnam Trade and Investment Framework Agreement.

The conference was co-chaired by Sarah Ellerman, Assistant US Trade Representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, and Do Thang Hai, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade.

Agriculture, labor, intellectual property, digital trade, services, information and communication technology products, and the environment were among the topics discussed by Vietnamese and US authorities.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the two sides welcomed the reopening of the TIFA Joint Council Meeting and reiterated their commitment to strengthening bilateral economic cooperation.

Both parties emphasized the importance of the recent upgrade of US-Vietnam relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

Since Vietnam and the United States signed the TIFA on June 21, 2007, their economic ties have greatly expanded. 

After nearly three decades of diplomatic relations, the bilateral trade volume between Vietnam and the United States has surged by nearly 300-fold to reach a remarkable sum of over $100 billion. This has solidified the United States as the primary export market for Vietnam.

During a recent conference hosted by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang confirmed that there is a great deal of potential and opportunity for economic, trade, and investment cooperation between the two countries now that bilateral ties have been elevated to a comprehensive strategic partnership. 

These elements have been regarded as the key motivators and catalysts for their bilateral interactions. He went on to say that this improved partnership, bolstered by several diversified cooperation pillars, will serve as the foundation for bilateral commerce to soon reach the $200 billion mark, he added. 

As of present, the United States is one of Vietnam's major investors, with over 1,300 valid projects totaling $11.8 billion in registered capital, ranking 11th out of 43 nations and territories investing in Vietnam.

Mr. John Rockhold, Chairman of AmCham, expressed hope about the future expansion of economic cooperation between Vietnam and the United States. 

He stressed that the recent improvement in their relationship represented a watershed moment and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to collectively improve policy structures and the economic climate while attracting new investors and assisting existing investors and businesses in their expansion efforts.

In November, the total import and export turnover of goods was estimated at $60.88 billion, up 5.9% over the same period last year. 

In the first 11 months of 2023, the total import and export turnover of goods is estimated at $619.17 billion, down 8.3% over the same period last year. The trade balance of goods in the 11 months of 2023 is estimated at a trade surplus of $25.83 billion.

In the first 11 months of 2023, merchandise export turnover is estimated to reach $322.50 billion, down 5.9% over the same period last year. Of which, the domestic economic sector reached $85.94 billion, down 2.2%, accounting for 26.6% of total export turnover. 

The foreign-invested sector (including crude oil) reached $236.56 billion, down 7.1%, accounting for 73.4%. Although export turnover still decreased compared to the same period last year, the decrease in export growth has narrowed significantly compared to the decrease of 11.6% in the first 6 months of 2023.

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