Vietnam sees trade surplus for 2nd straight year

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Vietnam enjoyed a trade surplus for a second straight year last year, with customs data, released January 20, showing it was US$10 million in the black.

Exports and imports were both worth slightly more than $132 billion for an increase of over 15 percent each.

It was also the second time that the country posted a surplus since joining the World Trade Organization in 2007.

But HSBC had said in a report earlier this month that a surplus signaled prolonged weakness in local demand.

Last year the foreign sector retained its leading role in exports by accounting for around 60 percent of the figure.

Vietnam, whose supporting industries remain weak, imported $18.7 billion worth machinery and equipment, a 16 percent rise from the previous year.

With the government mulling measures to limit individual vehicles, imports of motorbikes decreased by 40 percent to $42 million.

Cell phones and their spare parts became the top export items with shipments valued at $21.24 billion.

Textiles and garments were in second place with $17.95 billion.

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