HANOI (Reuters): Vietnam reported a 19% growth in exports last year, as it saw its trade surplus with the United States, its largest export market, widening to an all-time high, Government data showed yesterday showed. Vietnam’s total exports came in at $ 336.31 billion, while its imports rose 26.5% to $ 332.23 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $ 4.08 billion, the Customs Department said in a statement.
Exports in December increased 8.5% from November to $ 34.59 billion, while imports were up 3.1% to $ 31.62 billion, the department said.
The data showed Vietnam’s trade surplus with the US rose to $ 81 billion from $ 63 billion in the previous year, while its trade deficit with China widened to $ 54 billion from $ 35 billion.
The US is Vietnam’s largest export market for products such as garments, electronics and smartphones. Exports to the US last year rose by a quarter to $ 96.3 billion.
China is Vietnam’s largest trading partner, on which the Southeast Asian country relies heavily for materials and equipment for its labour-intensive manufacturing. Imports from China rose 30% to $ 110 billion.