|Customers shop at a stall displaying office stationery at a Thai product exhibition in Ha Noi last year. Trade revenues between Viet Nam and Thailand reached $9.4 billion in 2013, increasing 3.6 per cent year-on-year. — VNA/VNS Photo Huu Duyen
HCM CITY (VNS)— With the ASEAN Economic Community just around the corner, Thailand and Viet Nam can further expand their collaboration and maximise the potential for bilateral trade, Thai officials have said.
Speaking at a conference in HCM City on Thursday, Panpimon Suwannapongse, the Thai Consul General in HCM City, said: "Despite the challenging circumstances during the past few years due to international economic crisis, the economic ties between Viet Nam and Thailand have been robust."
Bilateral trade revenue reached US$9.4 billion last year, a year-on-year increase of 3.6 per cent.
"I am happy to note that in 2013 Thailand was Viet Nam's biggest trade partner in ASEAN," she said.
Regarding investment, Thailand is the ASEAN'S 10th largest investor in Viet Nam with more than 300 projects in operation in the country, she added.
Meanwhile, Vietnamese investors have invested in many projects in Thailand.
Thailand's major products exported to Viet Nam are plastics, petrol, chemicals, automobiles, steel and machines, while Viet Nam exports to Thailand household appliances, steel products, electronics, motorcycles, equipment and frozen seafood.
The two countries have set a target to raise bilateral trade to $15 billion by 2020, she said, adding that, besides boosting investment and trade ties, "one area that Thailand and Viet Nam should not overlook is the exhibition industry in which business sectors of both countries possess vast potential".
Jaruwan Suwannasat of the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) said more and more Vietnamese businesses had come to visit trade shows in Thailand to seek business opportunities.
Besides focusing on raising the quality of trade shows to attract more foreign visitors, including Viet Nam, TCEB will implement programmes to support visitors, she said.
About 3,488 Vietnamese visitors visited exhibitions in Thailand last year, ranking second in terms of foreign visitors visiting trade shows and exhibitions in Thailand, according to TCEB. — VNS