|Benjamin Chau, deputy executive director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, speaks at a press luncheon in HCM City held by HKTDC and the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Friday. — VNS Photo|
HCM CITY — As one of the leading trade and financial centres of the world, Hong Kong would be a gateway for Vietnamese enterprises to enter the Chinese mainland market and other regional and global markets, the deputy executive director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) said.
Speaking at a press luncheon in HCM City on Friday held by HKTDC and the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Benjamin Chau said Việt Nam was Hong Kong’s third largest trading partner in ASEAN and its ninth largest trading partner worldwide, with bilateral trade reaching US$13 billion in the first ninth months of the year, a year-on-year increase of 11.6 per cent.
“Việt Nam was the most important export market for Hong Kong’s merchandise in ASEAN,” with its exports to Việt Nam amounted to $7.4 billion, an increase of 11 per cent, he said.
Meanwhile, import to Hong Kong from Việt Nam reached $5.7 billion, up 12 per cent over the same period last year.
Bilateral trade had been fruitful for many years, he said, adding that he hopes Vietnamese companies “make more use” of the Hong Kong platform to further promote their businesses in the local market as well as the international market.
Chau also encouraged Vietnamese firms to participate in fairs organised by the council as exhibitors, which is a great chance for them to introduce their products and services to other countries.
Last year, more than 38,000 exhibitors from 88 countries and regions as well as nearly 770,000 buyers from 200 countries and regions visited more than 30 of the Hong Kong council’s trade fairs, he said.
However, only 40 exhibitors from Việt Nam joined fairs, while the figure was more than 500 from Thailand and over 1,000 from Japan, he said.
Tina Phan, Director of Indochina at HKTDC, said Việt Nam was the producer and exporter of many fruits and vegetables, garments, handicrafts, and other products. Therefore, exhibitions on food, house-wares, or gifts are very suitable for Vietnamese firms to promote their products to international buyers.
Many international buyers had increasingly sought goods from Việt Nam through the council’s fairs, she said.
“Leveraging on our advantages, Vietnamese companies can expand businesses into the Chinese mainland and the world,” Chau said.
Chau said HKTDC and the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency on November 16 signed a memorandum of understanding for co-operation on trade promotion.
Under the MoU, the two sides will co-operate in exchanging market information so that companies in Hong Kong and Việt Nam can know the market situation better, organise trade missions and capacity training programmes, encourage Vietnamese companies to utilise digital channels such as its www.hktdc.com in business transaction, and to participate in HKTDC trade fairs to tap into the Hong Kong and world markets, he said.
In addition, the ASEAN-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement, which was signed on November 12 and is expected to come into effect in January 2019, would further increase trade in goods, services, and investment between ASEAN countries and Hong Kong, as well as trade between Việt Nam and Hong Kong in particular, he added. — VNS