HANOI, March 29 (Xinhua) — Vietnam spent over 1.8 billion U.S. dollars importing completely-built automobiles and components for assembly in the first quarter of this year, seeing a year-on-year surge of 103.7 percent.
Specifically, according to its Ministry of Industry and Trade on Friday, the country imported nearly 36,800 completely-built automobiles worth 797 million U.S. dollars.
Early last year, few automobiles, especially cars, were imported to Vietnam because traders were unprepared to comply with a new governmental decree requiring traders to provide more relevant certificates and undergo more tests than before; local experts explained the import surge early this year.
In 2018, Vietnam spent nearly 5.4 billion U.S. dollars importing completely built automobiles and components for assembly, seeing a year-on-year drop of 2.6 percent. Specifically, the country imported roughly 81,800 completely-built automobiles worth nearly 1.8 billion U.S. dollars, posting respective declines of 16 percent and 19.9 percent.
According to the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, more than 288,600 automobiles were sold in the Vietnamese market in 2018, up nearly 6 percent from 2017. Specifically, the sale of locally-assembled automobiles rose 11 percent, and imported vehicles dropped over 6 percent.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has recently proposed exempting locally-made automobile parts from special consumption tax to foster the domestic industry. The localization rate currently stands at only 10 percent, although years ago, the localization target for cars with nine seats or fewer was set at 60 percent by 2010.