Vietnam targets $300 billion in exports by 2020

Thanh Nien News

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 An undated photo shows rice sacks being uploaded at a southern Vietnam port for export. Photo: Diep Duc Minh
Vietnam's exports will grow 11-12 percent annually over the next five years to hit US$300 billion by 2020, according to new targets approved by the government this week. 
Local media reported that one of the targets is to achieve a "sustainable trade surplus" after 2020.
The country is expected to see a trade deficit of US$6 billion this year, despite a projected 10 percent increase in exports, to $165 billion.
One of the main solutions for Vietnam to achieve the objectives, according to the government, is to secure more free trade agreements.
Since Vietnam joined the World Trade Organization in 2007, it has signed many free trade agreements, even though some economists have questions the real impacts of those trade deals. 
Vietnam plans to continue expand its trading activities in traditional markets, including Southeast Asia, East Asia, Australia, the US and EU.
It also hopes to see "breakthroughs" in new markets such as Africa, South America, Middle East and India.
Vietnam's exports hit $106.3 billion in the January-August period, up 9 percent year-on-year, official data showed. 
However, the country still saw a trade deficit of $3.6 billion, as imports surged 16.4 percent compared to the same period last year.

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