Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc (r) receives Hong Kong Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Yau Tang-wah in Hà Nội on Thursday. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam expects strong growth in two-way trade with Hong Kong based on the potential of bilateral relations, said Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc.
PM Phúc made the statement while receiving Hong Kong Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Yau Tang-wah in Hà Nội on Thursday.
Lauding progress in political, economic, trade and investment ties, the PM suggested that Hong Kong support Việt Nam in developing bilateral trade and send experts to assist Việt Nam since Hong Kong is a financial centre in the region and the world.
He said Việt Nam has been focusing on developing transport, health and education infrastructure, and Hong Kong enterprises may take part in projects in these fields.
PM Phúc affirmed that Việt Nam is striving to improve its investment environment and to create optimal conditions for foreign investors, including those from Hong Kong, to successfully do business in the country.
He said relevant agencies of Việt Nam and Hong Kong need to put forth measures and action plans to further boost bilateral cooperative relations, adding that free trade agreements are opening up more cooperation opportunities for both sides.
For his part, Yau said he was impressed at Việt Nam’s economic growth as well as its achievements in international integration and the strong development of Việt Nam-China relations. He said his ongoing visit to Việt Nam is accompanied by a large number of Hong Kong firms who are seeking investment opportunities in the country, thus lifting bilateral trade ties to new heights.
Hong Kong wants to become a reliable partner of Việt Nam, Yau said, adding that Hong Kong can provide Việt Nam with professional services in the fields of finance, law, insurance and accounting.
Edward Yau, secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of Hong Kong, and Margaret Fong, executive director of HKTDC, along with other leaders from Hong Kong business delegations, pose at a conference in HCM City to promote co-operations between the two economies. — Photo courtesy of HKTDC
Hong Kong, Việt Nam step up business collaboration, investments
Officials from Hong Kong and Việt Nam met on March 21 at a conference in HCM City to discuss investment promotion policies, including lower taxes on profits made by businesses in Hong Kong.
The conference was organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and HCM City’s Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It was attended by many Hong Kong business delegations from different industries, seeking investment opportunities in Việt Nam.
Margaret Fong, executive director of HKTDC, said: “Hong Kong is very excited about the new opportunities that will arise, especially from the signing of the ASEAN-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the Investment Agreement.”
Many Hong Kong firms have been investing in Việt Nam for several decades. Now more Hong Kong businesses plan to invest in the country because the new agreements offer them more protection.
Fong said that Hong Kong firms could help Vietnamese partners expand internationally, offering assistance in marketing, e-commerce and logistics.
In addition to existing investments in Việt Nam’s infrastructure, Hong Kong firms are interested in satisfying the country’s rising demand in the financial, technology and professional service sectors. Hong Kong businesses are especially strong in technologies used in different sectors.
As for investment opportunities, Margaret said that all sectors in Hong Kong were open for Vietnamese investment and there would be no shareholding percentage requirements or other similar requirements.
In addition to no discrimination between local and foreign companies in terms of policies, agencies such as Invest Hong Kong and HKTDC are willing to help Vietnamese businesses set up and expand in Hong Kong, and offer help in market research and relocation.
Foreign companies that have incorporated in Hong Kong can also enjoy preferential treatment when entering mainland China, similar to local Hong Kong businesses, because of the Closer Economic Partnership Agreement between Hong Kong and China that took effect in 2003.
Taxes on profits made in Hong Kong will drop from 16.5 per cent to 8.25 per cent for the first US$250,000 worth of profit.
Along with Hong Kong’s funding schemes for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which has allocated about $360 million in funds so far, the reduced tax on profits will be especially helpful for new start-ups.
According to Edward Yau, secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of Hong Kong, Việt Nam is the fourth-largest ASEAN trading partner with Hong Kong, with total trading value of around $18 billion per year, which is expected to continue to rise.
Hong Kong’s foreign direct investment (FDI) in Việt Nam has been increasing steadily. In the first seven months of 2017, Hong Kong invested around $600 million in Việt Nam, ranking as the fifth largest source of FDI to the country.
The ASEAN–Hong Kong FTA signed last year will take effect on January 1, 2019, allowing both economies to enjoy freer trade of goods, services and investments. — VNS