Vietnam's foreign trade turnover is likely to surpass US$500 billion in 2019, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said at a press conference in Hanoi on December 12.
The total import-export turnover in January-November was estimated at US$472 billion, he noted.
In the 11-month period, Vietnam exported US$241.7 billion worth of goods, a year-on-year rise of 7.9%. The country spent US$230.7 billion on imports, up 6.6 percent from the same period last year.
Hai said these outcomes were achieved in the context of sluggish global economy due to increasing risks, challenges, and trade protectionism.
Despites difficulties in 2019, the Vietnamese Government and ministries have spared no effort to simplify administrative and investment procedures, said Nguyen Cam Trang, deputy head of the Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).
To date, Vietnam has joined negotiation and signing of 16 free trade agreements (FTAs), with 12 already signed and coming into force, she said.
The Government and the MoIT have paid special attention to the implementation of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and the dissemination of information on other FTAs, including the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), she added.
According to Deputy Minister Hai, the Government has closely directed the amendment of regulations relating to trade, customs, the national one-stop shop mechanism, specialized inspection and trade facilitation.
Besides, logistics infrastructure has been significantly improved, he said, adding that Vietnam was ranked 39th among the 160 surveyed countries in the Logistics Performance Index (LPI) in 2018, up 25 places compared to two years ago, rising to the third position in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
He said the ministry will actively employ measures to realise the National Assembly's set target of 7-8% growth in export turnover in 2019.