VCN- Although Vietnam’s export to Laos has maintained the stable growth rate, in the overall, the trade relations between the two countries are on the downward trend.

Chart show the import-export turnover between Vietnam and Laos from 2013 to the first quarter in 2017, the unit calculated “million USD”. Chart: T. Binh.

Cannot reach the level of “billion USD”.

The statistic results of the General Department of Customs show that in 2011, the total value of export turnover between Vietnam and Laos stopped at $US 734 million. Of which, the exports of Vietnam were $USD 274 million, and the imports from the neighbouring country were $USD 460 million.

But by 2013, the total trade value between the two countries has grown to $US 1.091 billion. Of which, Laos maintained its trade surplus with a surplus of $US 245.7 million.

The “billion USD” mark has been maintained for three straight years (2013, 2014 and 2015). In particular, 2014 reached the highest figure of $US 1.287 billion and the import turnover from Laos were $US 802 million and the exports of Vietnam to the neighbouring country reached $US 485 million.

In 2015, the turnovers started to slowdown. Although it was still keeping the total value of over $US 1 billion, the results for the whole year were reduced by $US 166 million compared to the previous year ($ 1.121 billion).

And by the last year, the foreign trade between the two countries has been removed from the “billion USD” milestone set up three years ago, as the turnover only reached $US 823 million.

The main reason for this decline is that imports of goods from Laos are continuously decreasing.

In particular, from $US 802 million in 2014, the imports of goods from the neighbouring country dropped to $US 587 million by 2015 and only reached $US 345.3 million in the last year.

So, in just 3 years (from 2014 to 2016), the imports from Laos decreased by $US 456.7 million, equivalent to a decline of 57%.

In terms of quantity of goods, the goods imported from Laos are quite modest and monotonous with 5 main groups: Maize; ore and other minerals; fertilizer; Wood, wood products; Ordinary metals.

Looking at the fluctuation of the import and export activities between Vietnam and Laos over time, it is easy to see the dependence on a few items (especially the imports from Laos mainly depends on wood, wooden products). Therefore, when these groups have several changes in turnover, it will greatly affect the trade turnover between the two countries.

Opportunities to export of Vietnam

In the context of trade relations between the two countries showing signs of going down, we realize that there are still signs of optimism. That is the stable growth of the exports of goods from Vietnam to Laos. The growth is in both turnover value and commodity category.

In 2011, Vietnam had only 10 groups of goods exported to Laos in 2011, but by 2016 this number increased to 17 groups. Among them, in 2016, there were 7 groups of goods with the turnover of $US 10 million or more. The largest was iron and steel reached $US 76 million; followed by gasoline at $US 61.5 million; vehicles of transportation and spare parts reached $US 50.5 million …

On the other hand, in terms of turnover value, compared with 2011, the total value of the Vietnam’s exports to Laos in 2016 increased by 74%, equivalent to an increase of $US 204 million.

The export results of Vietnam to Laos in particular and the trade relations between the two countries in general are modest compared to the total value of export turnover of hundreds of billions USD a year in our country, but with a small as Laos, the changes as mentioned above are also remarkable.

In the first quarter in 2017, the total value of export and import turnover between the two countries reached $US 236 million, of which the exports of Vietnam were $US 135 million, and the imports were $US 101 million.

The results above have decreased slightly by $US 13 million compared to the same period in 2016, because while the export turnover of our country increased by $US 2 million, the import turnover went down by $US 15 million.

By Thái Bình/Kiều Oanh