Vietnam flag Vietnam: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Vietnam

Foreign Trade in Figures

Vietnam is one of the most open economies to international trade in Asia. Vietnamese trade represented 186% of GDP in 2021 (World Bank, 2023). Vietnam exports transmission electronic apparatus and telephones (22% of all exports in 2021), electronic integrated circuits and microassemblies (4.3%), footwear, technology products and automatic data processing machines. Imports include electronic integrated circuits and microassemblies (14.5% of all imports in 2021), electronic apparatus, semiconductors and printed circuits (Comtrade, 2023).

The main trading partners are the United States (28.7% of all exports in 2021), China (16.7%), South Korea (6.5%) and Japan (6%). Its main providers are China (33.2% of all imports), South Korea (17%), Japan (6.8%) and the United States (4.6%). The Vietnamese economic model remains heavily dependent on foreign investment and exports, especially to the United States and China. In recent years, Vietnam has demonstrated strong commitment to trade liberalisation. It joined the WTO in 2007 and signed Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with the ASEAN countries and the United States. Vietnam also enjoys a cooperation agreement with the EU. A free trade agreement between both parties was ratified by the European Parliament in February 2020 and is expected to enter into force soon. A Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) - the world’s largest trade agreement - was signed by Vietnam in 2020, which includes 16 countries in total: Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand.

The value of exports of goods was estimated at 335.92 billion USD in 2021, up from 282.72 billion USD in 2020. The imports of goods amounted to 331.58 billion USD in 2021, up from 262.75 billion USD in 2020. The trade surplus reached 17.7 billion USD in 2021, against 30.7 billion in the previous year. Vietnam reported a 18.8% growth in exports in 2021, as it saw its trade surplus with the United States, its largest export market, widening to an all time high 94.9 billion USD in 2022 (NASDAQ, 2023). Vietnam's total exports in 2021 came in at 402.89 billion USD, while its total imports rose 26.5% to 350.98 billion USD, resulting in a trade surplus including services of 1.963 billion USD (WTO, 2023). Vietnamese trade is characterised by some geographic inequality: the country shows a trade surplus with Western countries, but a series of deficits with some of its Asian neighbours. To achieve further progress, the country must continue to increase the value of exports and achieve product diversification. 

 
Foreign Trade Values 20182019202020212022
Imports of Goods (million USD) 236,862253,393262,701332,455359,148
Exports of Goods (million USD) 243,699264,268282,629335,978371,288
Imports of Services (million USD) 18,49919,02818,32519,40725,567
Exports of Services (million USD) 14,78016,6526,2903,67312,905

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20182019202020212022
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 164.7164.7163.2186.5n/a
Trade Balance (million USD) 16,54021,49430,70817,46625,717
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) 12,86019,14320,4211,79913,093
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 9.64.93.315.8n/a
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 12.36.24.113.9n/a
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 80.279.578.993.2n/a
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 84.485.284.493.3n/a

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20232024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)2027 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) -1.55.69.09.99.9
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) -0.65.910.210.710.7

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
Asia - Pacific Economic Cooperation - APEC

Association of Southeast Asian Nations - ASEAN

 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2022
United States 29.5%
China 15.6%
South Korea 6.5%
Japan 6.5%
Hong Kong SAR, China 2.9%
See More Countries 38.9%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2022
China 32.8%
South Korea 17.3%
Japan 6.5%
United States 4.0%
Thailand 3.9%
See More Countries 35.5%

Source: Comtrade, 2023. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

Main Products

370.9 bn USD of products exported in 2022
Telephone sets, incl. telephones for cellular...Telephone sets, incl. telephones for cellular networks or for other wireless networks; other apparatus for the transmission or reception of voice, images or other data, incl. apparatus for communication in a wired or wireless network [such as a local or wide area network]; parts thereof (excl. than transmission or reception apparatus of heading 8443, 8525, 8527 or 8528) 21.2%
Electronic integrated circuits; parts thereofElectronic integrated circuits; parts thereof 3.6%
Footwear with outer soles of rubber, plastics,...Footwear with outer soles of rubber, plastics, leather or composition leather and uppers of textile materials (excl. toy footwear) 3.2%
Parts and accessories (other than covers, carrying...Parts and accessories (other than covers, carrying cases and the like) suitable for use solely or principally with machines of heading 8469 to 8472, n.e.s. 2.7%
Furniture and parts thereof, n.e.s. (excl. seats...Furniture and parts thereof, n.e.s. (excl. seats and medical, surgical, dental or veterinary furniture) 2.2%
See More Products 67.1%
358.8 bn USD of products imported in 2022
Electronic integrated circuits; parts thereofElectronic integrated circuits; parts thereof 15.3%
Telephone sets, incl. telephones for cellular...Telephone sets, incl. telephones for cellular networks or for other wireless networks; other apparatus for the transmission or reception of voice, images or other data, incl. apparatus for communication in a wired or wireless network [such as a local or wide area network]; parts thereof (excl. than transmission or reception apparatus of heading 8443, 8525, 8527 or 8528) 7.0%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 2.7%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 2.0%
Coal; briquettes, ovoids and similar solid fuels...Coal; briquettes, ovoids and similar solid fuels manufactured from coal 1.8%
See More Products 71.1%

Source: Comtrade, 2023. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows.

 

Main Services

13.5 bn USD of services exported in 2022
41.50%
23.74%
15.73%
9.63%
3.60%
1.71%
1.33%
1.32%
0.75%
0.58%
0.11%
27.4 bn USD of services imported in 2022
45.65%
24.36%
12.59%
6.42%
3.48%
2.08%
1.63%
1.44%
1.07%
0.74%
0.54%

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, 2023. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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Latest Update: December 2023

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