Viet Nam has taken full advantage of the CPTPP to gain strong growth in exports to Canada and Mexico, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

These are the two CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) members that have not yet signed bilateral free trade agreement (FTAs) with Viet Nam.

In the first two months of this year, Viet Nam’s exports to Canada rose by 20.39 per cent to US$578 million year on year.

With over 37 million people, a high standard of living and an urbanisation rate at 80 per cent, Canada is considered a potential market for many key export items of Viet Nam, including textiles, footwear, seafood, tea, pepper, cashew nut, coffee and wooden furniture.

During the first two months, textile and apparel export value reached more than $100 million, up 5.86 per cent year on year. The export value of mobile phones and accessories surged by 104.22 per cent to $122.09 million compared to the same period last year.

Other products with strong growth in exports included the group of iron and steel and plastic materials with rates of 153.69 per cent and 354.06 per cent year on year, respectively.

Viet Nam’s export value to Mexico reached $497.2 million in the first two months. Of which, many products gained high export value, including computers, electronic products and components ($133.6 million), telephones and components ($122.6 million), shoes and sandals ($47.5 million), textiles and garments ($16.3 million), machinery, equipment and other spare parts ($34.5 million), vehicles and spare parts ($35.2 million).

Assessing the implementation of FTAs to promote exports, especially the CPTPP, Luong Hoang Thai, director of the MoIT’s Department of Multilateral Trade Policy, told the Dau tu (Investment) newspaper reported that Viet Nam’s enterprises have efficiently exploited markets with which Viet Nam has not yet signed FTAs.

In fact, Viet Nam’s enterprises have done more than expected, taking full advantage of the CPTPP, Thai said. In 2019, Viet Nam gained high growth in exports from the CPTPP countries, especially Canada and Mexico, while the agreement came into effect on January 14, 2019.

The country gained a year on year growth of 26-29 per cent in export value to Canada and Mexico last year, he said.

The CPTPP has partly contributed to the strong growth in exports of Viet Nam so the country had a trade surplus of $1.6 billion with the CPTPP market last year.

Before this agreement, Viet Nam had a total trade deficit of $900 million with this market, said Thai.

Meanwhile, the General Department of Customs said Viet Nam still recorded a trade surplus of $1 billion in the first half of March 2020, even during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In the first half of March, Viet Nam’s total trade value reached $21.47 billion, including export value of $11.2 billion and import value of $10.3 billion.

Therefore, the country achieved total trade value of $97.85 billion in the period from January 1 to March 15, up 4.4 per cent year on year. It had a trade surplus of $2.74 billion.

Of which, the total export value recorded $50.29 billion, up 6.8 per cent and the total import value was $47.55 billion, up 1.9 per cent.

During the period from January 1 until March 15, goods with high export growth included phones and components ($10.2 billion); computers, electronic products and components ($7 billion); machinery, equipment, tools and other spare parts ($3.93 billion); seafood ($1.26 billion); textiles and garments ($5.88 billion); footwear ($3.42 billion); timber and wood products ($2.1 billion); and vehicles and spare parts ($1.76 billion).