Vietnam’s impressive fruit export revenue in the first half of this year adds little value to the country’s economic growth as most of the shipment were re-exports of produce from Thailand.
Vietnam raked in some US$2 billion from exporting vegetables and fruits in H1/2018, a solid 20.3 percent increase from the same period last year, according to data from the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
However, the majority of the export value was generated by temporary import for re-export of produce, mostly from Thailand.
Re-exports are exports of foreign goods in the same state as previously imported, revenue generated from which is still counted as the country’s exports.
As in Vietnam’s case, some Thai fruits were temporarily imported into Vietnam and then all exported to China.
Particularly, Vietnam has imported $266 million worth of Thai fruit in the first five month of this year, and the country’s fruit export to China in the same period was also $266 million, according to the General Department of Customs.
Four types of fruit have been imported to Vietnam and immediately exported to China, with the conditions of the shipment unchanged - fresh longan, durian, mango and dried longan.
The re-exports were all done via the Huu Nghi international border gate in the northern province of Lang Son.
Shipments of this kind, which go from Thailand to China with a ‘transit stop’ in Vietnam, are not subject to any duties in the intermediary country, according to Tran Bang Toan, a customs official at Huu Nghi international border gate.
The re-exports are only charged with some fees and transport services costs.
“This really adds insignificant value to Vietnam, which functions as an intermediary for the China-bound fruit exports from Thailand,” Toan said.