Photo for illustration.

The nation’s trade surplus with markets in North and South America reached 15.3 billion USD in 2012, an increase of 15 percent over the previous year, according to the General Department of Customs.

The total value of trade with the Western Hemisphere climbed to 31.3 billion USD, of which Vietnam’s export value accounted for 23.3 billion USD.

Rising export value to American markets continued to drive the trade surplus with the region.

The US remained Vietnam’s leading importer, with an import value of 19.5 billion USD last year, an increase of 16 percent over 2011. Canada bought 1.14 billion USD worth of Vietnamese goods, Brazil, 710 million USD and Mexico, 685 million USD.

Textiles and garments were the top export earner, with a value of 8 billion USD to American markets, up 9 percent. Footwear followed with 3 billion USD, up 17 percent. Wood products, seafood, equipment, and electronic products also generated export earnings of at least 1 billion USD each.

In 2012, Vietnam implemented a number of trade promotion programmes to boost exports to American countries.

The Forum on Vietnam – Latin America Trade and Investment, with participating businesses from 13 Latin American countries, also facilitated Vietnamese and Latin American investors in indirectly discussing measures to boost trade and investment.

Although trade between Vietnam and American countries has increased at an average rate of 30 percent annually, from 300 million USD in 2000 to more than 15 billion USD in 2012, trade experts say the market is not yet fully tapped.

Source: VNA