In 2019, China ranked as Vietnam's second-largest foreign market with $41.41 billion, just behind the United States. However, the epidemic outbreak in China has had a great impact on trade between the two countries, as well as tourism and aviation.

While border gates with China have been reopened, the impacts of the COVID-19 epidemic are felt strongly across many export sectors in Vietnam

11 out of 45 of the major export items to China reached a turnover of $11 billion, including computers, electronics, mobile phones and accessories, vegetables, fibre, and shoes.

Among the three main groups of export items, agriculture-forestry-fisheries contributed the most, with $8.2 billion. Therefore, the blow the novel strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) has dealt to this group by reducing exports to China, will be felt in the full-year 2020 export turnover of Vietnam.

In addition to the large turnover of agricultural, forestry, and fisheries products, seafood, and vegetables, preservation was another headache as these products do not keep for long. To solve this problem, the agricultural sector might need to actively search foralternative markets.

In terms of imports, 15 out of the 43 largestimport items from China reached over $1 billion, such as machinery, equipment, tools, and spare parts ($14.9 million), computers, electronic products and components ($12.1 million), fabric ($7.7 million), mobile phones and accessories ($7.6 million), iron and steel of all kinds ($3.3 million), plastic products ($2.7 million), and textile, garment, and footwear materials and accessories ($2.5 million).

As a large portion of raw materials imported is used to produce export items, the fluctuations in imports will affect production and exports as well.

Among imports, textiles accounted for a relatively high proportion (import turnover of fabrics, textile materials, footwear, and fibre in 2019 was $11.5 million). Since trade was restricted due to the COVID-19 epidemic, raw materials imports shrank, greatly affecting production in the industry and forcing businesses to let workers go.

The COVID-19 epidemic also affects Chinese visitors to Vietnam. In 2019, more than 5.8 million Chinese visitors arrived to Vietnam, making the country Vietnam's largest source market accounting for nearly one-third of total foreign arrivals, up 16.9 per cent against the previous year.

Since the beginning of this year, due to the epidemic, the number of Chinese tourists to Vietnam fell sharply, leading to a severe impact on the aviation and tourism industries.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) said that the Chinese market is accounting for more than 18 per cent of the global market. Particularly for domestic airlines, this market accounts for 26.1 per cent of international passenger volume.

The preliminary figures provided by the CAAV show that Vietnam's total air transport market reached 1.95 million passengers, down 4.5 per cent over the same period in 2019, of which the international market decreased by 14.1 per cent.

Vietnamese airlines reached 1.06 million passengers, down 4 per cent, of which international passengers decreased by 28 per cent over the same period of 2019.

The initial damage of cancelling flights of Vietnamese airlines is over VND10 trillion ($434.78 million).
Source: VIR
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