Vietnam – Italy economic relations in the first 8 months of 2020

Vietnam – Italy economic relations in the first 8 months of 2020

Vietnam – Italy economic relations in the first 8 months of 2020

13 November 2020

According to statistics of the General Department of Vietnam Customs, import and export turnover of Vietnam and Italy in the first eight months of 2020 reached more than USD 3 billion, down 16.5% over the same period in 2019; in which Vietnam exported USD 2 billion to Italy, down 12.2% over the same period in 2019 and Vietnam imported from Italy to Vietnam USD 985 million, down 24% compared to the first 8 months of 2019.

Due to the covid-19 epidemic, the turnover of 2020 has decreased significantly compared to the strong growth of 2019. However, the total import-export turnover in the first 8 months of 2020 did not reduce if compared with the same period in 2018 (the turnover in the first eight months of 2018 was USD 3 billion, in which exports from Vietnam to Italy were USD 1.8 billion, imports from Italy to Vietnam were USD 1.2 billion).​

One of the potential products for Vietnamese exporters is rice. Italy is one of the largest rice producer, exporter and importer in the EU. In 2019, Italy exported about 675 thousand tons of rice (equivalent to USD 624 million) to countries around the world and imported about 221 thousand tons of rice (equivalent to USD 174 million) from countries around the world. In particular, Italy imported from Vietnam only about 7 thousand tons (equivalent to USD 5 million) in 2019, meaning that Vietnam only accounted for 3.1% of the market share of Italy’s rice import. Meanwhile, Italy imported 70 thousand tons of rice from Pakistan (equivalent to USD 64 million), from Thailand 19 thousand tons (USD 21 million), from India 16 thousand tons (USD 18 million).


Italy imported rice from countries around the world
Unit: US Dollar million, source: ITC


Exporters Italy imported in 2016 Italy imported in 2017 Italy imported in 2018 Italy imported in 2019 Italy imported in the first 5 months of 2020
World 142.476 165.931 155.969 174.714 78.052
Pakistan 16.477 21.620 49.270 64.104 28.039
Thailand 15.198 16.138 19.110 21.015 12.834
India 25.881 56.048 17.444 18.147 8.730
Guyana 25.556 15.516 7.858 13.509 2.300
Romania 7.105 6.394 6.754 7.605 2.659
France 10.783 9.317 8.779 7.286 2.670
Cambodia 9.661 9.630 11.901 6.726 3.997
Viet Nam 717 169 216 5.223 2.768
Greece 4.399 3.554 5.870 4.381 2.292

Italy imported rice from Vietnam and the world

Unit: US Dollar thousand, source: ITC


HS Product label Italy imported rice from Vietnam Italy imported rice from the world
2017 2018 2019 5Ms 2020 2017 2018 2019 5Ms 2020
100620 Husked or brown rice 0 89 2,647 710 69,452 49,118 74,275 30,976
100630 Semi-milled or wholly milled rice, whether or not polished or glazed 32 69 2,492 2,058 64,178 78,916 67,257 32,642
100640 Broken rice 137 58 84 0 12,609 12,345 11,694 6,388
100610 Rice in the husk, “paddy” or rough 0 0 0 0 19,693 15,591 21,488 8,046


Update legal normative documents

On September 18, 2020, the Government issued Decree No. 111 /ND-CP on Vietnam’s preferential Export Tariffs and special preferential Import Tariffs schedule to under the Free Trade Agreement between the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the European Union in the period 2020-2022 to implement commitments on opening the goods market in the EVFTA Agreement.

Accordingly, the Decree stipulates the Special Preferential and Import Tariff of Vietnam to implement the EVFTA and the conditions for enjoying the special tax rates… With regard to customs declarations of exports and imports registered from August 1, 2020 to before the effective date of the Decree, if all regulations are met to enjoy tax rates, if Vietnam’s preferential export or special preferential import tariff in the Decree has been paid tax at a higher tax rate, the overpaid tax shall be handled by the customs authority in accordance with the law on tax administration. This Decree also applies to goods exported from Vietnam to the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland and goods imported into Vietnam from the UK and Northern Ireland during the period from August 1, 2020, to the end of December 31, 2020.

Under the EVFTA Agreement, Vietnam commits to abolish import duties on 48.5% of tariff lines, equivalent to 64.5% of EU exports as soon as the Agreement comes into effect. Then, after 7 years, 91.8% of tariff lines equivalent to 97.1% of export turnover from the EU was abolished by Vietnam. After 10 years, this elimination is 98.3% of tariff lines and 99.8% of EU export turnover respectively. About 1.7% of the remaining EU tariff lines apply the tariff elimination schedule of more than 10 years or apply TRQ according to WTO commitments.
Regarding export taxes, Vietnam and the EU agreed not to impose export tariffs on goods exporting from one territory of one party to the other. However, Vietnam has reserved the right to impose export tariffs on 57 tariff lines, including important products such as crude oil, coal (except coal for coking and coking coal). For tariff lines with relatively high current export tariff rates, Vietnam agreed on export tariff ceiling of 20% for a maximum period of 5 years (except for manganese ores with a ceiling of 10%). For other products, Vietnam commits to eliminate export tariffs according to a maximum schedule of 16 years.