Vietnam’s Trade Surplus with European and American Markets Hits $125 Billion

Vietnam News Today (Dec. 29): Vietnam achieves a trade surplus of US$125 billion with the European and American markets. The warm and sunny weather is expected to prevail across Vietnam during the New Year holiday. Ha Nam and Gyeonggi provinces are strengthening their cooperation. Additionally, it is projected that Vietnam will welcome 18 million foreign travelers by 2024, signaling a potential full recovery for the tourism industry.


Vietnam News Today (Dec. 29) notable headlines

Vietnam enjoys trade surplus of US$125 billion with European, American markets

Warm, sunny weather across Vietnam during New Year holiday

Ha Nam, Gyeonggi provinces step up cooperation

18 million foreign travelers in 2024, full recovery within reach

VinFast begins selling electric vehicles in the US

Foreign leaders’ Vietnam visits in 2023 in the spotlight

Labor export far exceeds yearly target in 2023

More luxury cruise ships to bring visitors to Vietnam in early 2024

Positive signs ahead for real estate market in 2024

Vietnam enjoys a trade surplus of 125 billion USD with European and American markets. (Photo: VNA)

Vietnam enjoys trade surplus of US$125 billion with European, American markets

Vietnam’s total trade with European and American markets is estimated to decrease by 9.5% year-on-year to around 208 billion USD in 2023, but the country still enjoys a trade surplus of US$125 billion.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s European – American Market Department, Vietnam’s trade surplus with European countries is estimated to reach around US$33 billion and the figure with American nations is US$92 billion.

This year, Vietnam has exported goods worth US$166 billion to Europe and America, and imported products worth nearly US$41 billion from these markets, down 9.6% and 9.1% year-on-year, respectively.

Notably, for the first time after many years of continuous high growth, the country’s export turnover to some key markets have fallen sharply such as the US (US$96.9 billion, down 12.4%), and the European Union (US$43.7 billion, down 6.7%).

On the other hand, increases have been recorded in some markets, including the UK, and Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Southern Common Market (Mercosur) countries.

According to the department, in 2024, import-export activities between Vietnam and the European and American markets will have favorable conditions but also face big challenges.

Existing free trade agreements (FTAs) with European and American partners will continue to have positive impacts, and help maintain Vietnam’s advantages in trade and investment activities, cited VNA.

In addition, market demands in the world in general and Europe and America in particular are gradually recovering because inflation has seen a downward trend from the end of 2023.

However, the overarching challenge is that the global economy is entering a new period, full of risks, challenges and unpredictability. In 2024, the economic growth rates of the world and countries in Europe and America are forecast to be lower than in 2023.

To make the most of advantages and minimize the impact of challenges on Vietnam’s import and export activities, the department recommended closely monitoring the market situation and promptly grasping information on the economic and political situation and fluctuations and policies in the region and the world.

Warm, sunny weather across Vietnam during New Year holiday

Northern Vietnam is set to experience warmer weather, whilst central and southern regions will be sunny and dry during the upcoming New Year holiday.

According to the Meteorological Forecast at the National Center for Hydrometeorological Forecasting (NCHMF), from December 31, 2023 to January 2, 2024, all cities and provinces across the country will see sunny days, creating favorable weather conditions for people to go out for recreational activities.

The north will see a little rain at night, whilst it is set to be cold in the early morning due to fog, but it will then turn sunny and get warmer during the daytime.

Daytime temperatures are forecast to rise from a low of 14 degrees Celsius to a high of 25 degrees Celsius in the plain, according to VOV.

The whole country will enjoy warm and sunny weather during the New Year holiday. (Photo:

In central parts of the country, there could be some rain over the holidays, whereas the Central Highlands and southern areas will remain dry with sunny weather.

People in the Central Highlands and southern regions will celebrate the New Year 2024 amid good weather with temperatures hovering around 26 degrees at the lowest and 33 degrees at the highest.

The New Year holiday will be longer this year as it falls over the weekend from December 30 to January 1, 2024.

Ha Nam, Gyeonggi provinces step up cooperation

Since the signing of a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in 2017, the northern province of Ha Nam and the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s Gyeonggi province have seen their friendship and cooperation deepened and becoming more practical and effective across various areas, Secretary of the Ha Nam Party Committee Le Thi Thuy has affirmed.

At a working session on December 27 with a visiting delegation of the Gyeonggi Provincial Council, led by its Chairperson Yom Jong-hyun, Thuy noted that the two provinces have maintained information exchange activities and organized numerous visits and working sessions. Gyeonggi has actively assisted Ha Nam in holding investment promotion activities in the RoK.

Secretary of the Ha Nam Party Committee Le Thi Thuy (R) and Chairperson Yom Jong-hyun of the Gyeonggi Provincial Council at the working session in Ha Nam on December 27. (Photo: VNA)

Currently, Ha Nam is home to 370 FDI projects from 13 countries and territories, including 150 RoK-funded projects worth around US$1.7 billion.

Thuy proposed the Gyeonggi Provincial Council continue to support Ha Nam in promoting its land, culture, and business climate in Gyeonggi in particular and the RoK in general.

She also suggested further assistance for Ha Nam’s organization of visits and trade promotion activities in the RoK next year and the maintenance of the two localities’ regular contacts and exchanges, VNA reported.

Agreeing with these proposals, Yom said the Provincial Council will continue to popularize and introduce Ha Nam’s investment environment to investors in Gyeonggi in particular and the RoK in general.

The two provinces will enhance exchanges in not only the economic and investment fields but also cultural and social aspects, he said.

18 million foreign travelers in 2024, full recovery within reach

Although attracting 18 million foreign travelers in 2024 is a challenging task, especially with the declining number of Chinese travelers, the Vietnam National Authority of Tourism (VNAT) believes the task is feasible.

VNAT reported that Vietnam received 12.5 million foreign travelers in 2023, or 1.5 times higher than planned (8 million). However, the figure is just equal to 69 percent of that in 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to VNAT deputy head Pham Van Thuy, Vietnam strived for 8 million foreign travelers in 2023, but the figure was reached by the end of October, up 17 percent compared with the same period last year.

VNAT has boldly set the goal of attracting 18 million foreign travelers in 2024, which means a full recovery to a pre-Covid level.

“I hope the goal is attainable, because we have an open visa policy, and local authorities have paid attention to developing infrastructure and accommodations, and travel firms have vowed to attract more travelers and are ready to join forces to create attractive tourism products,” Thuy said.

Nguyen Cong Hoan, CEO of Flamingo Redtours, thinks that Vietnam has opportunities to attract 18-20 million foreign travelers in 2024, especially when the visa policy has become more open. After the Immigration Law took effect (August 15), the number of foreign travelers increased sharply.

Hoan is optimistic about tourism prospects in 2024 because of the great success in diplomatic activities in 2023, which helped popularize Vietnamese images around the world.

The official visits to Vietnam by countries’ presidents and their unprecedented activities of drinking coffee, riding bikes, and walking and sitting to enjoy the landscapes at Hoan Kiem Lake all brought advantages for Vietnam to advertise its tourism, cited VNN.

Photo: VNN

Prior to that, when talking about goal setting for 2024, Tran The Dung, CEO of Vietluxtour, affirmed that Vietnam can attract 18 million foreign travelers, and that VNAT would ‘play it safe’ when setting the modest goal of 15-16 million foreign travelers.

Meanwhile, Cao Tri Dung, chair of the Da Nang Tourism Association, while advocating the plan to receive 18 million foreign travelers in 2024, has warned that the goal is challenging.

Da Nang, a famous tourism destination, received only 5.6 million domestic travelers and 2 million foreign travelers in 2023. While the number of domestic travelers in 2023 exceeded that of 2019, the number was 60 percent of the 3.5 million in 2019.

Chinese market

The biggest challenge, according to experts, is the decrease in the number of Chinese travelers, from 5 million in 2019 to 1.5 million in 2023. In order to attract 18 million foreign travelers, it is necessary to recover at least 50-60 percent of Chinese travelers and travelers from loyal markets.

But travel firms believe the Chinese market cannot recover quickly, and that it is better to expand to other markets.

Vietnam’s tourism will still have to rely on Northeast Asian markets such as South Korea, Japan and Taiwan (China), and Southeast Asian markets including Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. It also can expect to receive travelers by land from Cambodia and Laos.

Moreover, travel firms should target markets such as Europe and North America, and emerging South Asian markets such as India, with the hope of attracting 1 million travelers next year.

In addition to Hanoi and HCM City, which are the major tourism markets, Dung proposed more investment in resources, products and tourism promotion for Da Nang, Nha Trang, Phu Quoc Island and Quang Ninh province as well. These are gateways highly capable of receiving travelers.

Also, local authorities need to prepare new tourism products that offer interesting experiences to attract independent travelers through smart platforms.

Nguyen Duc Chi, a tourism expert, said it would take time to recover the Chinese market. It would be better to learn about South Korean travelers to exploit the Korean market more effectively. The number of Korean travelers to Vietnam in 2024 may exceed that of 2019. The same is expected to occur with the Indian market.

As 13 European countries benefit from Vietnam’s policy on visa waivers and an increase in the number of days they can stay in Vietnam, the number of travelers from these markets rose sharply in the first 11 months of 2023, including France (up 72.5 percent), the UK (38.6 percent), Germany (55 percent) and Northern European countries (33-84 percent).

VinFast begins selling electric vehicles in the US

Leading Vietnamese electric vehicle maker VinFast is scheduled to begin selling Electric Vehicles (EVs) in the Triangle area of North Carolina on December 28, according to Raleigh-based television station WRAL News.

Leith Automotive which is based in the town of Cary in North Carolina will be the home to the company’s first non-factory-owned dealership in the United States, cited VOV.

VinFast begins selling EVs in the US on December 28 (Photo: Car Buzz)

WRAL News revealed that at the showroom on 2000 Auto Park Blvd, VinFast will introduce its own EVs to customers in Raleigh, Durham, and Cary. The dealership will be operating in coordination with the upcoming factory in Chatham County and is part of the firm’s wider strategic plan.

“The VF9, a versatile seven-passenger SUV, is expected to arrive in the first quarter of 2024, with the VF7s to follow soon after,” the television station noted.

WRAL News also quoted a spokesperson for Leith as saying that it will work in tandem with the new factory being built in Chatham.

Projected to be completed in 2025, the initial phase aims to produce up to 150,000 electric vehicles each year, further propelling North Carolina’s position as a hub for clean energy and automotive innovation.

Rosie Nguyen