Vietnam's trade surplus with the United States widened to $94.9 billion last year, the highest level on record, led by shipments of items such as garments, shoes, smartphones, electronics and wooden furniture, customs data showed.
The Southeast Asian country has benefited from around 15 free trade agreements helping boost its export-driven economy, which grew 8% last year. Total exports in 2022 rose 10.6% to $371.85 billion.
However, economists warn Vietnam is facing headwinds, with weakening global demand already starting to impact its shipments in December, when exports fell 14% from a year earlier.
Meanwhile, a trade deficit with China, which is the largest supplier of materials and equipment to Vietnam's labour-intensive manufacturing sector, widened to a record $60.2 billion in 2022 from $54.0 billion a year earlier, according to Vietnam's customs data released on Monday.
Vietnam's imports from China last year rose 6.6% to $117.87 billion, led by products such as machinery, electronics, fabrics, smartphones and components, the data showed.
Exports to the United States - Vietnam's largest export market - rose 13.6% to $109.39 billion last year, with the trade surplus climbing from $81.0 billion in 2021.