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Cargo ship in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Cargo ship in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam | © Werner Bayer / Flickr
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Made in Vietnam: The Country's Top 10 Exports

Picture of Matthew Pike
Writer
Updated: 15 May 2018
In 2017, Vietnam exported over $213 billion US dollars worth of goods and materials – and that number is growing by double-digit percentages. Vietnam is a country on the rise, and here are its 10 largest exports.

Electrical equipment

According to the Observatory of Economic Complexity, a web tool which uses data from the United Nations, electrical gear and related equipment makes up the largest export category in Vietnam. This includes things like electrical motors, telephones, insulated wire and all those myriad electrical pieces that make up our daily lives.

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Factory in Vietnam | © garycycles / Flickr

Footwear

Many of the largest footwear brands in the world – Nike, Adidas and Puma, among others – all have factories in Vietnam. In fact, Vietnam is the fourth largest producer of footwear in the world. Only China, India and Brazil make more. And with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), this market will continue to grow. There’s a good chance the shoes you’re wearing right now were made in Vietnam.

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Shoes for sale in Vietnam | © Mike Hauser / Flickr

Electronics

With wages on the rise in places like China and India, increasing numbers of the world’s biggest electronics manufacturers are building factories in Vietnam to take advantage of the low cost of labor here. Integrated circuit boards make up the largest portion of this category, accounting for approximately 5.8% of all Vietnamese exports.

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Circuit boards are made in Vietnam | © nghiem vo / Flickr

Clothing

Have a look at the labels in some of your newer pieces of clothing. Many of the biggest fashion brands in the world now manufacture their goods in Vietnam. Depending on how you look at the data, this sector of the economy may be worth as much as $30 billion US dollars.

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Suits for sale in Hoi An, Vietnam | © Emilio Labrador / Flickr

Furniture

According to the Italian Centre for Industrial Studies, Vietnam is ranked number eight in the world in terms of furniture exports. Large furniture retailers around the world send their designs and specifications to Vietnamese manufacturers, which they then build and export. More recently however, local companies have been expanding their design capabilities. These companies intend to develop their own research and development programs, so they won’t have to rely on foreign companies anymore.

Coffee

The highlands of central Vietnam are perfect for growing the Robusta strain of coffee, and even though Vietnamese people drink a lot of it themselves, there’s still plenty left over for exporting. In fact, Brazil is the only country in the world that exports more coffee than Vietnam.

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Drip style Vietnamese coffee | © Marko Mikkonen / Flickr

Fish

Being a coastal nation, it’s no surprise that Vietnam brings in a lot of fish. Every little seaside town along the country has a fleet of turquoise fishing boats, bringing in shrimp, squid and all kinds of fish species.

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Vietnam fishing boats on show | © Quangpraha / Pixabay

Crude petroleum

Vietnam exported approximately 6.9 million tons of crude oil in 2017, sending the majority to its regional neighbors. With the Nghi Son Refinery opening up in early 2018, Vietnam will have two refineries, each producing a wide variety of petroleum products – mostly for the domestic market, but some for exports.

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Gas station in Vietnam | © Stephan Ridgway / Flickr

Leather

If you’re a tourist in Vietnam and aren’t opposed to wearing leather, we highly recommend you get some custom pieces made. You can find so many amazing, fashionable pieces of clothing and accessories here, and all for a great price – especially in a place like Hoi An.

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Leather shoes for sale | © Jan Fidler / Flickr

Fruit, vegetables and nuts

Anyone who’s ever been to a fruit market in Vietnam knows all about the wonderful variety of fruit and vegetables that are available here. This segment of the economy is growing quickly as well, increasing by approximately 43% in 2017. And here’s a strange fact to finish off with: Vietnam is the largest exporter of cashew nuts in the world.

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Fruit market in Vietnam | © BOMBMAN / Flickr