HA NOI (VNS)— Vietnamese businesses have failed to gain a significant foothold in Ukraine, despite marking it out as a key growth market for domestic enterprises, said deputy head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Trade Promotion Centre Le Hoang Oanh.
Vietnamese exports currently account for a modest 1.58 per cent of the Ukrainian total import value, Oanh told a Ukrainian investment conference on Tuesday.
But, the demand for Vietnamese commodities in the European country has increased, she said, adding that the list of key imports and exports will increase considerably if trade links are improved.
Yevhen Prypik, head of the Ukrainian Embassy's Trade Office in Viet Nam, said that Ukraine was willing to import more Vietnamese products, especially machinery, seafood, footwear and agricultural goods such as tea, coffee and rice.
At present, many Vietnamese and Ukrainian firms say they would like to expand their business in the respective markets. However, language barriers, cultural differences and a lack of information on legal, trade and demand issues, as well as the physical distance between the two countries, are proving to be the biggest challenges.
Vu The Hoang, chief representative of N&M Ukraine Co in Viet Nam which promotes trade co-operation among enterprises from Viet Nam, Ukraine and Europe, also outlined technical barriers and payment difficulties as major business obstacles.
Viet Nam and Ukraine are yet to establish a convenient payment channel for transactions between the two nations' businesses, Hoang said. In order to support local enterprises' trade activities in Ukraine, the Ministry of Industry and Trade plans to implement trade promotion programmes and market research, as well as organise exhibitions in the Ukraine and open representative offices in the country.
Previously, Viet Nam and Ukraine have signed 20 economic and trade co-operation agreements intended to facilitate bilateral co-ordination between the two business communities, particularly in areas of trade, marine transport, aviation and investment.
By the end of 2011, Ukrainian businesses had 10 projects with a combined registered capital of US$23.273 million in Viet Nam, ranking 59th among nations operating in the country in terms of investment value. Ukraine's investment projects focus on transport, the processing industry and manufacturing.
Viet Nam, meanwhile, has so far invested in five projects in Ukraine worth nearly $3 million.
Viet Nam exported $130 million worth of goods to Ukraine during the first eight months of this year. — VNS