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Dear readers,
                   Vietnam has completely reopened its Covid-19-hit economy under Resolution No. 11/NQ-CP dated
                   January 30 from the government on the socio-economic recovery and development program.
                   The  pandemic  prevention  and  control  program  for  2022-2023  remains  in  place  and  is  being
                   conducted in parallel with the recovery and development program, directed by the Prime Minister
                   under a dispatch issued on February 12.

                   The reopening of the economy will present new opportunities for the country’s exports to grow

                   Vietnam’s economy was hit hard last year by the pandemic, with GDP growth coming in at just 2.58
                   per  cent;  the  lowest  for  a  decade.  Export  turnover,  however,  broke  records  in  reaching  $336.31
                   billion, up 19 per cent year-on-year.

                   One important factor behind this success was the bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements
                   (FTAs) Vietnam has signed.

                   These have opened the door for the country to integrate further into the global value chain and
                   production network.

                   According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), the EUVFTA, which came into effect on
                   August 1, 2020, has given a huge boost to exports, with export turnover to the bloc hitting some
                   $40.07 billion last year, up 14 per cent.

                   The UKVFTA, meanwhile, which took effect at the beginning of 2021, did a similar job, with two-
                   way trade standing at nearly $6.6 billion. Increases in import and export value were both in the
                   double digits, at 24.1 per cent and 15.4 per cent, respectively.
                   And under the CPTPP, Vietnam’s exports to Canada and Mexico rose 19.5 per cent and 46.1 per cent,
                   respectively, last year.

                   It is clear that FTAs have played a significant role in Vietnam’s export growth since being signed.
                   Such wonderful figures will act as a springboard for continued growth in shipments this year.

                   The MoIT will place focus during 2022 on effectively implementing FTAs and especially on plans for
                   implementing new-generation agreements towards gaining a more balanced import-export picture
                   and ensuring that markets remain stable.

                   Its FTAs are expected to continue to drive Vietnam’s economic growth in general and its exports in
                   particular into the future.

                   Our Cover Story in this March edition therefore focuses on the prospects for exports throughout
                   2022, which will no doubt grow substantially due in large part to the effective implementation of
                   FTAs signed in a spirit of “win-win” cooperation.

                                                                                DR. CHU VAN LAM
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