That projected dollar amount results from an 88% upturn compared to 5 years earlier in 2018 when Vietnam’s exported goods were worth $243.7 billion.
Year over year, the total value of Vietnamese exports accelerated by 36.4% from $335.8 billion in 2021.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2022, the Vietnamese dong depreciated by -3% against the US dollar since 2018 and fell by a flatlining -0.5% from 2021 to 2022. Vietnam’s weaker local currency makes its exports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively less expensive for international buyers.
Vietnam’s Major Trading Partners
The latest available country-specific data shows that 74.3% of products exported from Vietnam was bought by importers in: United States of America (28.7% of the Vietnamese total), mainland China (16.7%), South Korea (6.5%), Japan (6%), Hong Kong (3.6%), Netherlands (2.3%), Germany (2.2%), India (1.9%), Thailand (1.8%), United Kingdom (1.7%), Canada (1.6%) and Cambodia (1.4%).
From a continental perspective, 48.3% of Vietnam’s exports by value was delivered to fellow Asian countries while 32.1% was sold to importers in North America. Vietnam shipped another 15% worth of goods to Europe.
Smaller percentages went to Latin America (2.1%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, Oceania (1.6%) mostly Australia, and Africa (1%).
Given Vietnam’s population of 99.5 million people, its total $458.1 billion in 2022 exports translates to roughly $4,600 for every resident in the Southeast Asian nation. That dollar metric exceeds the average $4,150 per capita for 2021.
Vietnam’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Vietnamese global shipments during 2022. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Vietnam.
- Electrical machinery, equipment: US$187.1 billion (40.8% of total exports)
- Machinery including computers: $40.1 billion (8.7%)
- Footwear: $33.7 billion (7.4%)
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $21.5 billion (4.7%)
- Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefabricated buildings: $21.1 billion (4.6%)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $20.1 billion (4.4%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: $8.9 billion (1.9%)
- Iron, steel: $8.5 billion (1.9%)
- Fish: $7.6 billion (1.7%)
- Wood: $6.93 billion (1.5%)
Vietnam’s top 10 exports accounted for 77.6% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Footwear was the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 85% from 2021 to 2022.
In second place for improving export sales was machinery including computers via a 66.3% advance.
Vietnam’s shipments of furniture, bedding, lighting, signs and prefabricated buildings posted the third-fastest gain in value, up by 52.4%.
The lone decliner among Vietnam’s top 10 export categories was for the metals iron and steel, pulled down by a -28.8% year-over-year drop.
The above listed product categories are at the two-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level.
Drilling down to the more granular four-digit HTS codes, phone system devices including smartphones are Vietnam’s most valuable exported product coming in at 14.6% of the country’s total. In second place were electronic integrated circuits or microassemblies (6.9%) trailed by flat panel displays (5.2%), textile footwear (3.5%), computer parts or accessories (2.9%), television, radio or radar device parts (also 2.9%), miscellaneous furniture (2.7%), leather footwear (2.3%), computers including optical readers (2%), then microphones, headphones and amplifiers (1.6%).
The leading Vietnamese exports at the more detailed level generated 44.4% of Vietnam’s overall revenues from its exports.
Products Generating Biggest Trade Surpluses for Vietnam
Vietnam posted an estimated overall $101.9 billion trade surplus during 2022, expanding by 1,922% from the $5 billion in black ink one year earlier in 2021.
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 represent 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.
- Electrical machinery, equipment: US$63 billion (Up by 375.8% since 2021)
- Footwear: $30.7 billion (Up by 80.6%)
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $19.4 billion (Up by 25.4%)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $18 billion (Up by 34.4%)
- Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefabricated buildings: $17.9 billion (Up by 41.3%)
- Machinery including computers: $10 billion (Reversing a -$12.4 million deficit)
- Fish: $5.7 billion (Up by 25.6%)
- Wood: $5 billion (Up by 129.9%)
- Toys, games: $4.5 billion (Up by 78.5%)
- Leather/animal gut articles: $4.5 billion (Up by 86.7%)
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.
Products Generating Worst Trade Deficits for Vietnam
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.
- Mineral fuels including oil: -US$13.2 billion (Up by 0.6% since 2021)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$10.1 billion (Down by -20.5%)
- Knit or crochet fabric: -$6.7 billion (Up by 28.7%)
- Vehicles: -$4.7 billion (Up by 38.9%)
- Organic chemicals: -$4.6 billion (Down by -5%)
- Iron, steel: -$4.2 billion (Up by 50.6%)
- Pharmaceuticals: -$4.1 billion (Up by 0.4%)
- Manmade filaments: -$3.5 billion (Up by 92.5%)
- Other chemical goods: -$3.4 billion (Up by 3.4%)
- Food industry waste, animal fodder: -$3.2 billion (Down by -14.1%)
Vietnam has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for coal gas, refined petroleum oils, coal, petroleum coke, coal coke and petroleum gases under the mineral fuels-related product category.
Vietnamese Export Companies
Two Vietnamese corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000. 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.
- Danang Rubber Company (rubber)
- DOJI Gold and Gems Group (gold, jewelry)
- FPT Group (information technology)
- Habeco (beer)
- Hoa Phat Group (metals)
- Petrovietnam Gas (petroleum/natural gas)
- Samsung Electronics (electronics)
- Viettel Group (telecommunications)
- Vinamilk (dairy products)
- World Auto (cars, motorcycles)
In macroeconomic terms, Vietnam’s total exported goods represent 34.7% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2022 ($1.321 trillion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 34.7% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2022 compares to 35.9% for 2021. Those percentages suggest a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Vietnam’s total economic performance, albeit based on a short timeframe.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Vietnam’s unemployment rate averaged 2.32% for 2022, down from an average 3.2% in 2021 according to the International Monetary Fund.
Vietnam’s capital is Hanoi, a city nicknamed “Paris of the Orient” and “Paris of the East”.
See also Vietnam’s Top 10 Imports, Vietnam’s Top Trading Partners, Rice Exports by Country and Top Asian Export Countries
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook report on East Asia/Southeast Asia: Indonesia. Accessed on June 6, 2022
Forbes 2022 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on June 6, 2022
Foreign Trade , United States Census Bureau. Accessed on June 6, 2022
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (Domestic Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on July 7, 2023
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on July 7, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on July 7, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on July 7, 2023
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on July 7, 2023
Wikipedia, Hanoi. Accessed on July 7, 2023
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Vietnam. Accessed on July 7, 2023
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on July 7, 2023
Wikipedia, Vietnam. Accessed on July 7, 2023