Vietnam has overtaken Malaysia to become the largest trade partner of China in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said Commercial Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam, Hu Suojin.
The Chinese diplomat made the remarks during a press briefing held by the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi on July 26.
Total trade revenues between Vietnam and China were estimated at US$66 billion in the opening half of 2018, with the average monthly trade turnover between the two countries having exceeded US$10 billion for the first time in history, he said.
In June alone, the value of Vietnam-China trade reached US$11.2 billion, much higher than the US$9.3 billion recorded between China and Malaysia.
During the first six months of the year, Vietnam enjoyed a year-on-year growth rate of 28.8% in its trade revenues with China, compared to the 15.5% figure of Malaysia, which currently ranks second in ASEAN in terms of the growth rate of trade revenues with China.
The growth rate of China’s exports to Vietnam was estimated to hit 23.5% during the period, the highest in the ASEAN bloc, putting Vietnam among the top ten of China’s global export markets. In reverse, the growth rate of Vietnam’s exports to China reached 37.4%, ranking first among ASEAN countries. In February 2018, China surpassed the United States to become the largest export market for Vietnam.
In terms of investment, Hu Suojin stated that in 2017, China’s foreign direct investment (FDI) in Vietnam exceeded US$2.1 billion, the largest sum in history. So far this year, Chinese companies have invested in 163 new projects in Vietnam with a total registered capital of US$330 million. China is currently the sixth largest foreign investor in the Southeast Asian country.
At the press conference, Charge d’affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam, Yin Haihong, said the two countries will exchange many high-level visits from now until the end of 2018, affirming that the Chinese Embassy would encourage Chinese businesses to make further investments in Vietnam.