Vietnam’s exports to Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, and Cambodia have been posting strong growth and are predicted to continue the upward trend in 2018.
Vietnam shipped US$1.2 billion worth of telephones and components, $427 million worth of crude oil, and $91 million worth of fibers to Thailand in 2017. The figures showed respective increases by 69%, 170%, and 31%, said a report from VNA, citing information from Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade’s (MoIT) Department of Asian-African Markets.
The MoIT said many goods widely produced in Vietnam still account for just a modest market share in Thailand, noting a high potential to increase market share in Thailand for such commodities as aquatic products, fresh fruits, steel products, electrical wires and cables, and ceramic and wooden items.
There are also opportunities for Vietnam to sell more apparel and footwear to Thailand, which is switching its production to other fields with higher added value. Meanwhile, milk and dairy products, handicrafts, and furniture also hold potential for stronger exports if obstacles are removed and businesses are assisted, the ministry noted.
The Asian-African Markets Department said shipments of many goods to Malaysia also posted high growth rates. Last year, Vietnam earned around $1.17 billion from exporting computers, electronic products and components (up 36% from 2016), $609 million from mobile phones and components (up 37%), $235 million from steel (up 105%), and $228 million from crude oil (up 20%) to Malaysia.
Singapore was also a strong consumer of computers and components, transport vehicles and spare parts, crude oil, and gasoline from Vietnam last year, the department added.
Photo: Peter Sierigk