Vietnam raises 2010 trade gap forecast to $14 bln: paper

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Vietnam has revised up its forecast for its 2010 trade deficit to US$14 billion from $12 billion after imports in the first six months of the year rose much faster than exports, a local newspaper reported Wednesday.

Imports this year reach $80 billion to $81 billion, while exports were expected to reach $60-$61 billion, Phan Van Chinh, a director at the Industry and Trade Ministry was quoted by the Vietnam Economic Times newspaper as saying.

Imports in the first six months of 2010 surged 29.4 percent from a year ago to $38.9 billion, compared with export growth of 15.7 percent and revenues reaching $32.1 billion, government statistics show.

In January, the trade ministry initially projected full-year imports at $72.66 billion and exports at $60.54 billion, leaving the annual trade deficit flat at $12.12 billion.

The upward trade deficit revision means Vietnam would miss its target to keep the annual trade deficit at 20 percent of its export revenues this year, which it hopes to help avoid pressure on the dong.

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