Vietnam’s Top 10 Exports

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Vietnam shipped US$210.8 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2016, up by 269.1% since 2009 when the Great Recession kicked in and up by 30.1% from 2015 to 2016.

Vietnam’s top 10 exports accounted for almost three-quarters (74.1%) of the overall value of its global shipments.

Based on statistics from the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook Database, Vietnam’s total Gross Domestic Product amounted to $648.2 billion in 2016 (on a purchasing power parity basis). Therefore, exports represent about 32.5% of total Vietnamese economic output.

Based on 2015 statistics, roughly half (52.8%) of Vietnamese exports by value were delivered to other Asian countries while 24.9% were sold to North America importers. Vietnam shipped another 21.8% worth of goods to Europe with about 2% going to Africa.

Given Vietnam’s population of 95.3 million people, its total $210.8 billion in 2016 exports translates to roughly $2,200 for every resident in that country.

Vietnam’s unemployment rate was 2.11% in December 2016 according to Trading Economics.

Vietnam’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Vietnamese global shipments during 2016. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Vietnam. At the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, Vietnam’s number 1 exported product is mobile phones followed by footwear, electronic integrated circuits, furniture then computers.

  1. Electrical machinery, equipment: US$76.9 billion (36.5% of total exports)
  2. Footwear: $17.9 billion (8.5%)
  3. Machinery including computers: $13 billion (6.2%)
  4. Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $12.9 billion (6.1%)
  5. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $11.7 billion (5.6%)
  6. Furniture, bedding, lighting , signs, prefab buildings: $8 billion (3.8%)
  7. Coffee, tea, spices: $4.5 billion (2.1%)
  8. Fish: $4.4 billion (2.1%)
  9. Leather/animal gut articles: $3.8 billion (1.8%)
  10. Fruits, nuts: $3.2 billion (1.5%)

Electrical machinery and equipment was the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up by 1,731% over the 7-year period starting in 2009.

In second place for improving Vietnam’s export sales was leather and animal gut articles via a 479.2% gain.

Vietnamese machinery including computers posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 448.8%, followed by exported footwear up by 330%.

The most modest increase among top Vietnamese exports belongs to the fish category, up by 22.1%.


Overall, Vietnam posted a $12.6 billion trade surplus during 2016 reversing a -$12.9 billion deficit for 2009.

The following types of Vietnamese product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.

In a nutshell, net exports is the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.

  1. Electrical machinery, equipment: US$31.3 billion (Down by -864.6% since 2009)
  2. Footwear: $16.6 billion (Up by 320.9%)
  3. Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $11 billion (Up by 160%)
  4. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $11 billion (Up by 181.6%)
  5. Furniture, bedding, lighting , signs, prefab buildings: $6.8 billion (Up by 191.6%)
  6. Coffee, tea, spices: $3.8 billion (Up by 68.5%)
  7. Leather/animal gut articles: $3.5 billion (Up by 468.4%)
  8. Meat/seafood preparations: $1.5 billion (Up by 144%)
  9. Wood: $1.5 billion (Down by -496.6%)
  10. Rubber, rubber articles: $1.3 billion (Up by 97.1%)

Vietnam has highly positive net exports in the international trade of electrical machinery and equipment. In turn, these cashflows indicate Vietnam’s strong competitive advantages under the electrical products category.


Below are exports from Vietnam that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Vietnam’s goods trail Vietnamese importer spending on foreign products.

  1. Machinery including computers: -US$8 billion (Up by 4.7% since 2009)
  2. Iron, steel: -$7.1 billion (Up by 24.5%)
  3. Plastics, plastic articles: -$7 billion (Up by 134.3%)
  4. Aluminum: -$5.2 billion (Up by 728.8%)
  5. Knit or crochet fabric: -$4.9 billion (Up by 435.5%)
  6. Mineral fuels including oil: -$4.7 billion (Down by -603%)
  7. Vehicles : -$4.5 billion (Up by 124.7%)
  8. Meat: -$3.1 billion (Up by 5374.2%)
  9. Manmade staple fibers: -$2.7 billion (Up by 130.2%)
  10. Food industry waste, animal fodder: -$2.6 billion (Up by 53.3%)

Vietnam has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits under the machinery including computers category, notably electric sound or visual signalling apparatus and printed circuits.


Vietnamese Export Companies

Two Vietnamese corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000 for 2015. One company, Vietin Bank is a regional bank.

The other large business, Petrovietnam Gas is part of the following list of Vietnamese international trade businesses:

  • Petrovietnam Gas (petroleum/natural gas)
  • Samsung Electronics (electronics)
  • Viettel Group (telecommunications)
  • Vinamilk (dairy products)
  • DOJI Gold and Gems Group (gold, jewelry)
  • FPT Group (information technology)
  • Hoa Phat Group (metals)
  • Habeco (beer)
  • World Auto (cars, motorcycles)
  • Danang Rubber Company (rubber)

Vietnam’s capital city is Hanoi.

Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level.

See also Highest Value Vietnamese Export Products, Vietnam’s Top 10 Imports and Highest Value Vietnamese Import Products

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on April 23, 2017

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on April 23, 2017

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on April 23, 2017

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on April 23, 2017

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Vietnam. Accessed on April 23, 2017

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on April 23, 2017