HANOI, March 5 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam spent over one billion U.S. dollars importing completely-built automobiles and components for assembly in the first two months of this year, gaining a year-on-year surge of 105.1 percent.
Specifically, the country imported nearly 19,700 completely-built automobiles worth 462 million U.S. dollars, according to its Ministry of Industry and Trade on Tuesday.
Early last year, few automobiles, especially cars, were imported to Vietnam because traders were not well-prepared to comply with a new governmental decree which requires traders to provide more relevant certificates and to undergo more tests than before, local experts explained for 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 six percent from 2017. Specifically, the sale of locally-assembled automobiles rose 11 percent, and that of imported vehicles dropped over six 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.