Two-way trade turnover between Vietnam and the European Union in 2012 reached US$29.09 billion, up 19.77 percent from 2011, according to the General Department of Customs.
Vietnam exported US$20.31 billion worth of goods to the EU in 2012, an increase of 22.71 percent on year, while importing US$8.79 billion worth of goods and services, up 13.48 percent. This year, the EU surpassed the U.S. to become Vietnam's largest importer.
Vietnam's key export items to the EU were garments, footwear, coffee, seafood, computers, mobile handsets and spare parts. These accounted for 75 percent of the country's total exports in 2012.
While the country only began to export mobile handsets and spare parts to the EU in 2011, the export value for these products topped US$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 Ministry of Industry and Trade, the fact that bilateral trade between Vietnam and the EU continued growing despite the world economic stagnation and the number of EU member states facing debt crisis was a positive signal, suggesting that the cooperation between the two sides was steadily increasing.
(Source: The China Post)