Vietnam on Track to Become US’s Seventh Largest Trading Partner: Bloomberg

Amid Covid-19 impacts and the interruption of global supply chains, trade between Vietnam and the US has still grown.

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Vietnam is projected to surpass Britain as one of the United States’ top seven trading partners for goods this year, according to an article published by Bloomberg on December 19.

The US remains the largest market for Vietnamese seafood exports. Photo: VNA
The US remains the largest market for Vietnamese seafood exports. Photo: VNA

The article cites data from the US Census Bureau showing that the UK’s share of US merchandise trade dropped to 2.6% in the first 10 months of this year, while Vietnam’s rose to 2.7%.

The top seven trading partners for US goods have historically been Canada, Mexico, China, Japan, Germany, the Republic of Korea, and the UK. However, their rankings within the group have shifted over time, the article noted.

Vietnam entered the bureau’s top-15 list in 2019 and has climbed since then, reaching the 10th spot last year. If Vietnam maintains its lead over the UK for the final two months of 2022, it will mark the first time that a majority of the top seven trading partners are Asian economies, according to the article.

The shift in rankings reflects trends that were already present before the pandemic but were accelerated by it. China’s share of US goods trade, for example, has been gradually decreasing since reaching a peak of 16.4% in 2017, as American companies sought alternative suppliers outside of China during the trade war between Beijing and Washington.

Despite the impacts of COVID-19 and disruptions to global supply chains, trade between Vietnam and the US has continued to grow. In the first nine months of this year, two-way trade increased by 20% year-on-year to USD 96.2 billion, with Vietnam’s exports accounting for USD 85.1 billion of that total, representing 30% of the country’s total export revenue for the period.

The US is currently Vietnam’s largest export market, while Vietnam is the fifth largest trading partner of the US, accounting for approximately 4% of the US’s total import turnover.

A delegation of over 30 Vietnamese enterprises is paying a fact-finding tour to the US market from November 20 to December 1, with an aim to build effective business strategies in the global economy through digital transformation and innovation.
A delegation of over 30 Vietnamese enterprises is paying a fact-finding tour to the US market from November 20 to December 1, with an aim to build effective business strategies in the global economy through digital transformation and innovation. Photo: VNA

Vietnam’s strong economic performance in 2022 can be attributed to factors such as exports, domestic demand, and private investment, according to Andrea Coppola, the World Bank’s lead economist.

In an interview, Coppola explained that Vietnam’s exports have shown resilience, even during the COVID-19 crisis, with manufacturing exports driving GDP growth. Domestic consumption and retail sales have also played a significant role in driving the country’s growth in 2022.

The strong recovery of retail sales, which grew by 17% year-on-year in October 2022 compared to 0.4% in January, is indicative of this trend. Additionally, private investments have contributed to Vietnam’s economic growth, with FDI disbursements increasing by more than 15% during the first 11 months of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021.

Looking ahead to 2023, the Vietnamese economy is expected to face challenges on both external and internal fronts, according to the economist.

From January to November, total exports increased by 13.4% compared to the same period last year, as reported by Vietnam’s General Statistics Office.

Hannah Nguyen