Foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) operating in Vietnam posted a trade surplus of $1.39 billion in December 2015, bringing the whole-year figure to $13.33 billion, the General Department of Vietnam Customs said in a release on January 18.
The foreign sector’s exports increased 17.7% year-on-year to $110.59 billion in the period while its imports climbed 15.5% year-on-year to $97.26 billion.
Domestic enterprises, meanwhile, reported a trade shortfall of $16.87 billion in 2015, according to the department.
Data showed that Vietnam raked in $162.11 billion from exporting goods in 2015, rising 7.9% year-on-year, below the initial target of 10%.
The biggest export staple was phones/spare parts, worth $30.17 billion, with the largest shares held by FIEs such as Samsung and Microsoft Mobile.
Its import value soared 12% year-on-year to $165.65 billion in the year, resulting in a trade deficit
of nearly $3.54 billion after posting trade surpluses in the previous three years.
The country has spent the most on importing machinery and equipment in the year, with a value of $27.59 billion, up 23.1% year-on-year.
In December 2015, the country posted a trade gap of $563.36 million as local firms accelerated import of materials to prepare for the Lunar New Year festival, compared to a surplus of $263.11 million a month earlier.
A wider trade deficit in the month exerted pressure on the Vietnamese dong, prompting the State Bank of Vietnam to adopt a more market-based forex rate management mechanism at the start of this year, with an aim to safeguard its declining foreign currency reserves.