HCM CITY (VNS)— Vietnamese companies in several sectors are enthused by Myanmar, which opened its doors recently, especially after the rousing reception their products have got at an ongoing exhibition there.
At the 2013 Ho Chi Minh City Expo in the capital Yangon, electronic goods, other consumer goods, and foodstuffs were especially in demand, with locals snapping up everything on show at the five-day expo within the first two days.
The exhibition, which opened last Thursday, saw crowds throng despite heavy rains.
Besides actual consumers, there were also many wholesalers who came to explore co-operation opportunities.
Van Duc Muoi, general director of Vissan food company, said he saw much potential in the market, but warned companies would lose the opportunity if they hesitated or were not patient since it is not an easy market to crack.
The Vietnamese brigade was already late, he warned.
Tran Trong Qui, director of air-conditioning firm REE Corporation, said the company received positive feedback at the exhibition.
Besides individual customers, many developers also came to buy on a large scale for their construction projects, Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper quoted him as saying.
Some sought permanent co-operation, he said.
REE executives have visited Myanmar to study about the market and explore opportunities, but this was the company's first venture there, he said, adding it would find partners and open an office in the country right after the exhibition.
Qui hopes his first customer in Myanmar would be Viet Nam's own Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group, which has started construction of a US$300 million mixed-use property in Yangon. Myanmar has abundant natural resources and a 60-million population who lack access to many services. Without a manufacturing base of its own, the country imports 80 percent of all consumer goods.
Many Vietnamese businesses have already opened offices and retail outlets there.
Last year Viet Nam invested over $460 million in seven projects in the country, and the two sides are hoping to increase that to $1 billion by 2015.
They also plan to push bilateral trade to $500 million by then from $227 million now.
To succeed in Myanmar, businesses should adopt a long-term business strategy, choose competitive products, and further improve quality, Vu Cuong, Viet Nam's trade counsellor in Myanmar, said.
Nguyen Thi Hong, deputy chairwoman of the HCM City People's Committee, promised that more such trade fairs would be organised in Myanmar. — VNS