Under the strategy specified in Decision 2471/QD-TTg, the country's total exports by 2020 are expected to increase by three times against an export value of $71 billion in 2010, ensuring balanced trade.
The Prime Minister has also instructed local industries to restructure export commodities towards industrialisation and modernisation, improving the export proportion of high value- added products, high-tech goods and environmentally friendly products.
The strategy focuses on four commodity groups: fuel and minerals, agro-forestry and seafood products, processing and manufacturing items and new and highvalue-added products.
The strategy also sets out specific targets. The annual export growth rate will average 12 per cent from 2011-15, 11 per cent from 2016-20 and 10 per cent from 2021-30.
The trade deficit will be reduced to less than 10 per cent of the total export turnover by 2015 and reach a trade balance by 2020 towards a trade surplus from 2021-30.
The Prime Minister also asked industries to tighten imports in a bid to narrow the trade deficit. To do this, it is essential to bolster production and develop fuels, raw materials and accessories, as well support industries.
Machinery and high-tech equipment will continue to be imported to save energy and protect the environment and other import markets should be diversified to guarantee reasonable prices in order to reduce the trade deficit.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam expects to reach an export revenue of $108.8 billion this year, up 13 per cent from last year. The import value is predicted at $121.8 billion, a year-on-year increase of 15.2 per cent, leaving the trade deficit $13 billion.
Last year, Vietnam's trade deficit was the lowest in the past 10 years, reaching just over $9.5 billion , a year-on-year decrease of nearly 23 per cent – half of the Government's target of 18 per cent for the whole financial year, the General Statistics Office (GSO) reported.
It has been attributed to the rising export value of nearly $96.26 billion last year, a year-on-year increase of 33.3 per cent – the highest level since 1995 and tripling the National Assembly's target of 10 per cent.
Head of the GSO's Trade Department Le Minh Thuy attributed the high export value last year to business expansion by a number of FDI enterprises.
"In 2011, the proportion of industrial and mineral products exported rose 4 per cent year-on-year and accounted for 35.2 per cent of total export value," Thuy said.