Vietnam saw a trade deficit of US$2.61 billion the same time last year, according to the department. The country’s export turnover increased 16 percent year on year to US$134.51 billion during the January-July pẻiod, of which the foreign direct investment (FDI) sector contributed US$94.2 billion, up 15.9% from the same time last year, occupying 70% of the total export value. Phones and components topped the list with export turnover of US$26.48 billion, up 17.4% year on year. Shipments to the EU were worth US$7.79 billion, up 16.5%, while those to China, the US, the Republic of Korea, and the United Arab Emirates were valued at US$2.86 billion, US$2.74 billion, US$2.63 billion and US$2.45 billion, respectively. Meanwhile, the garment and textile sector earned US$16.52 billion, 16% more than the same time in 2017. The US continued to be the largest importer, buying US$7.69 billion of Vietnamese garments, followed by the EU with US$2.23 billion, Japan with US$2.05 billion and the Republic of Korea with US$1.57 billion. Meanwhile, Vietnam imported US$131.66 billion worth of products in the seven months, growing 11.1% year on year. Imports were mainly commodities serving production for exports, including computers, electronics and components (US$23.15 billion, up 13.9%), phones and spare parts (US$7.39 billion, down 0.6%), fabric (US$7.39 billion, up 14.4%) and steel (US$5.8 billion, up 10.4%). Dramatic hikes were seen in imports of coal (increasing 71.6%), steel scraps (56.9%), metal (35.6%), fibre (33%) and oil and gasoline (31.6%).