HA NOI (VNS)— Vietnamese goods are increasingly popular with consumers in Myanmar thanks to low prices, durability and competitive designs, said speakers at a conference in Ha Noi on Wednesday.
Soe Thet Naung, trade counsellor at Myanmar's Embassy in Viet Nam, said Myanmar's population of 60 million, strong economic growth and effective efforts to attract foreign investment made the nearby country a lucrative market.
Former Vietnamese Ambassador to Myanmar Chu Cong Phung said the Myanmar Government was determined to open its doors to economic integration and foreign investment. Some nations had already removed their embargoes and economic sanctions against Myanmar, he said.
Despite these advantages, domestic enterprises still faced challenges when penetrating into this market, such as inadequate market information and an undeveloped telecommunications system, said Hoang Thinh Lam, former trade counsellor at the Vietnamese Embassy in Myanmar.
The lack of payment tools was also problematic, as there were no foreign banks in the country and administrative procedures were complicated.
In order to succeed in the country, Vietnamese firms needed to carefully study market trends there and specialise in goods made in Viet Nam, Phung said.
Lam agreed, suggesting firms first establish themselves by importing and exporting goods, then open representative offices and showrooms and establish joint ventures with local companies.
Experts at the event also called on the State and relevant authorities to make greater efforts in negotiating trade agreements and accelerating trade promotion to the market in order to help Vietnamese businesses.
Two-way trade reached US$17.3 million in January, according to the General Department of Customs.
Vietnamese exports –mainly steel products, machinery and equipment, garments and plastics – contributed to $13.7 million of the total, a 1.8 per cent increase over December 2012.
Vietnamese imports, meanwhile, fell sharply by 45.6 per cent to $3.6 million due to a sharp reduction in wood imports.
The Viet Nam-Myanmar Economic Joint Committee aims to push bilateral trade to $500 million and Vietnamese investment in Myanmar to $1 billion by 2015.
As of last year, Viet Nam licensed seven Myanmar-based investment projects, capitalised at around $460 million, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment's Foreign Investment Agencyt. This places Viet Nam sixth among the 60 nations and territories operating in Myanmar. — VNS