Vietnam exported $20.31 billion worth of goods to the EU in 2012, an increase of 22.71 per cent year on year, while importing $8.79 billion worth of goods and services, up 13.48 per cent. This year, the EU surpassed the United States to become Vietnam’s largest importer.
Vietnam’s key export items to the EU in 2012, accounting for 75 per cent of the total, were garments, footwear, coffee, seafood, computers, mobile handsets and spare parts.
While the country only began exporting mobile handsets and spare parts to the EU in 2011, the export value for these products topped $5.4 billion last year.
Other commodities saw moderate growth, such as plastic products, wood and wooden products, bags, suitcases, umbrellas, pepper and cashew nuts.
For its part, Vietnam imported mainly machinery and equipment, pharmaceuticals, milk and dairy products from the EU.
According to the European Market Department of the Industry and Trade Ministry, the fact that trade between Vietnam and the EU continued growing despite the global economic stagnation and a number of EU member states facing debt crisis was a positive sign, suggesting that bilateral cooperation was steadily increasing.