Country records $2.45 billion trade deficit by mid-August

South Korea and the U.S. reached no agreement on renegotiating their free trade pact -- decried by President Donald Trump as a "horrible deal" -- a top Seoul official said Tuesday after meeting U.S. counterparts. The U.S. administration under Trump has been seeking to revise the pact, signed by former President Barack Obama and which Trump slammed as a "job killer". "For many, many years, the United States has suffered through massive trade deficits... we'll be changing that," Trump said during a June 30 summit with new South Korean President Moon Jae-In. South Korea -- Asia's fourth-largest economy and the seventh-largest trading partner of the U.S. -- has maintained there is no clear link between the pact and the U.S. trade deficit. Trade officials from both sides gathered in Seoul on Tuesday after Washington called a meeting, but failed to reach "any agreement", Seoul's trade minister Kim Hyun-Chong told reporters. "We did not agree with the unilateral demand by the U.S. to revise the Korea-US FTA" (free trade agreement), Kim said, adding no date had been set for a further meeting. "We also explained that the U.S. trade deficit is a result of a complex array of factors on micro and macro levels, not a result of the Korea-U.S. FTA," he said. Trump's push to revise the deal is part of his wider drive to cut his nation's trade deficits with a number of countries including the South -- a key Asian ally with which it is confronting the…... [read more]

On this occasion, Deputy Foreign Minister Dang Dinh Quy granted an interview outlining the outcomes of the visit. Reporter: Could you please give us a brief on the results of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s recent visit to Thailand, Mr. Deputy Minister? Deputy Minister Dang Dinh Quy: At the invitation of the Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha, the Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, led a high-ranking delegation to pay an official visit to Thailand from August 17 to 19. During the visit, in the spirit of trust and openness, the two Prime Ministers had a frank discussion on the multilateral and bilateral cooperation matters. PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc  in Thailand’s Nakhon Phanom province on August 19. Photo: nhandan.com.vn On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the ASEAN, apart from discussing strategic issues, the two PMs also touched on measures aimed at further consolidating the ASEAN community, maintaining the bloc’s central role, and strengthening cooperation among the member states through sub-regional cooperation programs and projects. On the bilateral issues, the two PMs agreed to push up negotiations on extradition and judiciary support agreements. The two sides also talked about a bilateral labor agreement which facilitates the ability of Vietnamese workers to work in Thailand legally. Notably, the visit focused on promoting the economic ties between the two countries. Vietnam has a strong economic relation with Thailand, ranking the first among the economic ties between Vietnam and other ASEAN…... [read more]

Representatives from the United States, Canada and Mexico convened behind closed doors at a Washington, D.C. hotel in an effort to strike a new North American Free Trade Agreement. And not far away, industry representatives from all three nations sat waiting and hoping to influence the talks. After two days of meetings, lobbyists admitted privately that they remained mostly in the dark, swapping rumors about dates and times of future meetings but unsure what progress was being made in the first round of discussions. The meetings were largely expected to be procedural, with little discussion on substance in the early days. The decision to renegotiate NAFTA has largely been driven by politics, chiefly U.S. President Donald Trump, who earlier this year threatened to withdraw entirely. Business, on the other hand, has largely praised the agreement and hopes to convince all three governments to make minimal changes to the pact. U.S.-Canada-Mexico trade has quadrupled since NAFTA took effect in 1994, surpassing $1 trillion in 2015. "We're all in the same boat," said Flavio Volpe, president of the Canada's Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association. "In the end we all serve primarily the U.S. consumer. So if you're going to raise the cost structure, or if you're going to change the dynamic flow of good or people in those three countries, you're really hurting the cost to market for the U.S. customer." The U.S. had an autos and auto parts trade deficit of $74 billion with Mexico last year – without which, there…... [read more]

Illustrative photo (Photo: VNA)   Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam posted a trade surplus of nearly 430 million USD in the second half of July, after many consecutive months of deficit. According to the General Department of Customs, from July 16-31, the country’s total export turnover reached 9.41 billion USD, up 14.1 percent compared to the first half of this month. Meanwhile, total imports were valued at 8.98 billion USD, a rise of 6.5 percent compared with the figure in the month’s first half. Taking into account the trade surplus in the second half of July, Vietnam ran a trade deficit of 2.53 billion USD in the first seven months of 2017, equal to 2.2 percent of the total export turnover. Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said trade deficit was high in the first months of the year as major businesses such as Samsung, Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), and Viettel Group imported machinery, equipment and materials to expand their operations. After that, when the projects finish disbursement, trade deficit is seeing a downtrend, Hai added. According to him, the latest trade surplus was the result of efforts Vietnam made to step up export. Growth was seen in almost all markets and leading commodities. Vietnam is likely to gross a total export turnover of 200 billion USD for the whole year, surging over 13 percent from last year and exceeding the set target, Hai stated in a recent press conference. …... [read more]

Trade Minister Enggartiasto "Enggar" Lukita. — Photo JP/Stefani Ribka Trade Minister Enggartiasto "Enggar" Lukita has urged Indonesian businesspeople to cooperate with Viet Nam to boost trade and investment, instead of competing with the country. The cooperation includes investing in Vietnam to sell more products to countries that Vietnam has free trade agreements (FTA) with, said the ministry at the sixth Indonesia-Vietnam Joint Commission on Economics, Scientific and Technological Cooperation (JC-ESTC) in Hanoi over the weekend. “We need to invest in Vietnam not only because it has 93.3 million people [third biggest country in terms of population in ASEAN], but also because of the other countries that have bilateral FTAs with Vietnam,” he said in a press release. Some Indonesian firms run businesses in Vietnam’s property, cement and coal sectors while Vietnamese firms are interested in Indonesia’s coal industry. Indonesia has seen a trade deficit with Vietnam from 2012 to 2016 with the deepest deficit of US$966.5 million in 2014 before easing to $182.6 million, last year. Total trade reached $6.2 billion last year, with Indonesia exporting $3 billion, dominated by copper, pepper, ground fruits, coconuts, coal, palm oil and its products. In the first five months this year, nevertheless, Indonesia has managed to book a trade surplus of $5.1 million. — VNS ... [read more]

After the Governments of Vietnam and Singapore agreed to lift the relationship to the so-called strategic partnership, the bilateral trade value has always accounted for a big share of total trade value of each side. Singapore has become Vietnam's largest trading partner in ASEAN and sixth in the world. The two-way trade value has annually increased about 12 per cent, reaching US$7.16 billion in 2016, accounting for 17.3 per cent of Vietnam’s trade value with ASEAN states. The two-way trade value amounted US$4.3 billion in the first six months of 2017, with US$1.5 billion for Vietnam and US$2.8 billion for Singapore. As a result, Vietnam ran a trade deficit of US$1.3 billion with Singapore. Vietnam’s imports from Singapore rose 10.58 per cent year on year in the first six months of 2017. Petroleum was a staple, accounting for 46 per cent of total turnover, or US$1.3 billion, representing an on-year growth of 43.77 per cent. The second biggest import from Singapore was computers, electronic products and components although the value declined sharply by 40.06 per cent. In the face of trade deficit, Vietnam is proposing Singapore to facilitate Vietnamese products such as agricultural and seafood products to enter the latter to order to equalise the trade balance. Singapore imports 90 per cent of food for its domestic consumption. This is a favourable condition for Vietnamese companies to tap this market with rice, coffee, tea, fruits, vegetables and handicrafts. Meanwhile, Singaporean companies have strengths in…... [read more]

Trade tensions between the United States and China heated up on Tuesday as Beijing warned that it "will not sit idle" if a US probe into its intellectual property practices leads to sanctions. President Donald Trump's decision to order the investigation comes on top of strains between the two nations over how to handle Beijing's ally North Korea. Trump on Monday signed a memorandum directing US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to determine whether Chinese policies hurt American investors or companies -- with retaliatory measures a possible outcome. "We will stand up to any country that unlawfully forces American companies to transfer their valuable technology as a condition of market access. We will combat the counterfeiting and piracy that destroys American jobs," Trump said. "Washington will turn a blind eye no longer," Trump said, vowing to safeguard copyrights, patents and other intellectual property that are "vital to our security and to our prosperity". The president said the US would no longer tolerate Beijing's "theft" of US industrial secrets, long a concern of major foreign corporations seeking a share of the huge Chinese market. "We will engage in a thorough investigation and, if needed, take action to preserve the future of US industry," Lighthizer said. China's commerce ministry issued a statement voicing "serious concern" and warning that any US trade protectionism "will definitely harm bilateral trade relations". "If the US side take actions that impair the mutual trade relations, disregarding the facts and disrespecting multilateral trade rules, China will not sit…... [read more]

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc receives President of the National Legislative Assembly of Thailand Pornpetch Wichitcholchai (Photo: VNA) Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc hosted a reception for President of the National Legislative Assembly of Thailand Pornpetch Wichitcholchai in Hanoi on August 14. The PM said he will lead a high-level Government delegation to visit Thailand from August 17-19 to exchange measures to promote bilateral friendship and cooperation, and increase the two countries’ strategic partnership. Vietnam and Thailand have enhanced coordination in various fields from politics, security, and defense to economics, trade, tourism, culture and society in recent times, Phuc said.   [Vietnam, Thailand should keep mutual support at int’l parliamentary forums] Thailand is the biggest trade partner of Vietnam in ASEAN with two-way trade reaching 12.5 billion USD in 2016. However, as Vietnam ran a trade deficit of 5 billion USD with Thailand, Phuc hoped the two countries will seek measures to balance trade and increase the bilateral trade to 20 billion USD by 2020. The tourism cooperation also developed with about 800,000 Vietnamese tourists visiting Thailand in 2016 while over 200,000 Thais travelling to Vietnam, he noted. The PM proposed Thailand open its market for Vietnamese goods and create more favourable conditions for Vietnamese workers to work in the country as well as encourage Thai businesses to boost investment in Vietnam. Vietnam will address difficulties and create conditions for Thai investors to do business, he affirmed. For his…... [read more]

NDO – Despite remarkable achievements in export activities, it is time to develop a new, sustainable, and effective export strategy for restructuring and maintaining positive economic growth, amidst increased challenges from both home and abroad, economist Vu Dinh Anh has suggested. In the context of the economy facing difficulties, especially low growth rates and a slow process of restructuring compared to the set plan, Vietnam’s exports in the first seven months of 2017 recorded remarkable progress, creating a positive premise for fulfilling the set target of annual export growth. However, the situation still mixes both joy and concern regarding the quantity and quality, as well as the structure. After seven months, the total export turnover has reached US$115.2 billion, up 18.7% over the same period in 2016 - far exceeding the set target of approximately 10% for the whole year, with a surprise in the exports of fruit and vegetables reaching their highest growth of 44.4%, worth US$2 billion; followed by the export of electronics, computers and spare parts (up 43.3%, reaching US$13.6 billion). It is noteworthy that exports of machinery, equipment and other spare parts increased by 29.5%, to US$6.9 billion, along with transportation means and spare parts reaching US$4 billion, an increase of 20%. Whilst still accounting for the largest share of total exports with US$22.6 billion, exports of phones and related components slowed down and rose by just 15%. In the same group, with export growth rates lower than that of the common trend, are textiles and…... [read more]

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (Photo: VNA) Hanoi (VNA) – The fulfilment of the gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 6.7 percent in 2017 requires high political determination from ministries and departments as well as corporations, businesses and people, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc stressed at a meeting in Hanoi on August 12. Addressing the conference between the Government’s Standing Board and ministries, sectors, economic groups and corporations, the PM noted that in order to realise the aforesaid target, the growth in the six remaining months of this year must be at a high level of 7.42 percent. He stressed that this is an important political task of all sectors, especially agriculture, industry, construction, processing and manufacturing. [National Assembly targets 6.7-percent GDP growth in 2017] According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the surging GDP in the second quarter raised the January-June growth rate to 5.73 percent. The service sector made the biggest contribution to the overall growth (2.59 percentage points), particularly in wholesale, retail, accommodation, catering, finance, banking, insurance, and real estate. The total volume of international tourists to Vietnam in the period was 7.42 million, a year-on-year rise of 28.8 percent. While the mining industry suffered from a sharp decline, the agriculture, forestry and fishery sectors have recovered with a growth rate of 2.65 percent. The average consumer price index (CPI) rose by 3.91 percent in the first seven months, below the National Assembly’s set target of 4 percent. …... [read more]




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