Vietnam’s total exports nearly quadrupled between 2002 and 2008, with an annual growth of between 20% to 30% from 2002 to 2008. Vietnam’s major trading partners include Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea, with the US and EU accounting for about 45% of Vietnam’s total exports. Although agricultural exports also grew over the period, their importance relative to total exports has declined. Preliminary data for 2009 indicate a decline in total exports following the financial crisis.
Vietnam’s total exports rose by 33 percent through the second and third quarter of 2008 but fell by nearly as much in the fourth quarter of 2008 as the impacts of the financial crisis hit the world markets and as prices of petroleum products and rice came down from their record high. As shown below, although the quantity of Vietnam’s exports of petroleum oils fell by 10% from 2007 to 2008, the value of exports rose by 22%. Vietnam’s top agricultural export, rice, doubled in export value from 2007 to 2008 while export quantities rose only by 4%.