While Vietnam’s general merchandise imports saw a sharp fall in Jan-July except, the purchase of machinery and components in the period grew by nearly 8 percent.
Data of the general Department of Customs showed total value of machinery, tools and components imported from the year’s beginning to the middle of last month totalled $8.4 billion, picking up 7.9 percent. Machinery and equipment imports, therefore, keep taking the lead in the group of ten goods imported the most into the country.
Meanwhile, import turnover of other commodities in the same group shrank year-on-year, including fuel products with a decline of 11.1 percent, fabric falling 1.7 percent, iron and steel 4.2 percent, material plastic 1.1 percent and footwear and leather materials 0.1 percent.
Customs figures in the first four months of the year indicated Vietnam bought most machinery and equipment from China, accounting for over 31 percent of the total volume in the period. Vietnamese enterprises spent $801 million on importing machines from China while foreign direct investment (FDI) enterprises only imported $673 million worth of machinery from this market in the same period.
At a meeting with leaders of the Ministry of Industry and Trade late last month, Nguyen Chien Thang, chair of the HCM City Handicraft and Wood Industry Association (Hawa), said the current economic downturn is the right time for local firms in the wood industry to invest in machines with low expenses.
From early 2012 to July 15, import turnovers of computers, electronics products and components also sharply increased to $6.1 billion. Similarly, cell phones and spare parts imports shot up to $2.2 billion in value, up 90.9 percent and 111.6 percent year-on-year respectively.