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Vietnam Improving int’l economic integration efficiencyneeds to revise its policies to accelerate international economic integration, delegates said at a workshop in Hanoi on April 3.

Leading economic experts, including those from the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), said Vietnam should continue with its administrative reform to create a sound business environment for all economic sectors.

Vietnam needs to ensure macroeconomic stability and implement macro-policies in a consistent and flexible manner based on accurate analysis and forecasts, they said.

In addition, relevant ministries and agencies need to draw up their strategies for negotiating and implementing regional free trade agreements (FTA).

They proposed that the designated ministries and agencies finalise legal documents in line with international norms and provide businesses with legal aid to settle trade disputes.

Imports outstrip exports

A CIEM report shows that five years after Vietnam joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO), its imports have exceeded exports.

The report reveals that the country’s annual export growth hit 18.9 percent over the period, about 0.6 percent lower than the import growth.

Its export revenue has jumped 2.4 times from US$39.8 billion in 2007 when Vietnam joined the WTO to US$96.9 billion in 2011. However, the growth rate is still a bit lower than the figure recorded in the 2001-2006 period which saw exports rise 2.6 times.

CIEM attributed the export growth to the global rapid trade development and improved competitiveness rather than the impact of Vietnam’s WTO membership.

In addition, Vietnam has focused more on new emerging markets, especially China and the Republic of Korea (RoK), as a result of regional FTAs.

Conversely, the nation’s imports surged sharply after joining the WTO, but has recently slowed because of domestic difficulties.

Other factors, including the nominal exchange rate and foreign direct investment (FDI), have also affected imports, causing growth to fall from a high of 40 percent in 2007, to an average of 18.9 percent over the five year period.

Imports from China, the country’s largest partner, saw the greatest increase among its major suppliers.


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