NV trade promotion department hails ASEAN export opportunities

VIETNAM, July 4 –

HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese companies have many opportunities to increase their exports to Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, according to the Trade Promotion Department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Nguyễn Thị Thu Thủy, Deputy Director of the Export Support Center, said that Việt Nam has many favorable conditions to export goods to Thailand and Laos as the three countries are close geographically and members of various trade agreements. free exchange.

To meet customer demand in Thailand and Laos, domestic companies are recommended to export goods that meet technical standards and have import certificates from the authorities.

They must also apply advanced technology in product processing and preservation to ensure product quality.

They need to attend trade fairs and exhibitions to promote products and find suitable partners, as well as connect to Việt Nam trade office in Thailand and Laos for market and partner information and office support in case of dispute.

At the same time, companies should build a brand of high-quality and competitively priced Vietnamese products, according to the Trade Promotion Department.

Lê Thị Phương Hoa, Commercial Advisor, Việt Nam Trade Office in Laos, said that Laos was an easy market, importing most consumer goods. In addition to that, this market has also helped Việt Nam to export goods to several neighboring countries, including Thailand. Notably, in the transport sector cooperation from 2021 to 2025, there was the Hà Nội-Vientiane railway.

These are favorable factors for exporting Vietnamese products to Laos at a lower cost and faster. However, companies should ensure that goods exported to Laos need Lao language labels.

In addition, Vietnamese products competed with counterfeit and cheap Chinese products, Hoa said.

In Laos, Thailand’s sales and marketing strategies were very flexible, with a professional distribution channel. During this time, Vietnamese products were only sold in small shops.

Hoa said one of the companies in Việt Nam was developing a chain of supermarkets in Laos, but still selling Thai products to maintain operation and development. This meant that Vietnamese products had to compete with Thai products.

Previously, many Vietnamese did business in Laos, a channel to sell Vietnamese products, but the COVID-19 pandemic made them return home. Once the pandemic was brought under control, they were unable to return to Laos due to the high costs of entering and staying in Laos.

On the other hand, the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and rising fuel prices in Laos have led to higher consumer prices and inflation. These factors make it more difficult to export Vietnamese products to Laos in the future.

According to the Việt Nam Trade Office in Laos, the trade turnover between Việt Nam and Laos has increased in recent years. Bilateral trade value growth increased from 8% in 2017 to 13.6% in 2021, reaching $1.4 billion.

In the first five months of 2022, the value of trades increased by 21% to $700 million. This figure for the whole of 2022 should reach the same level in 2021, maybe even more.

Meanwhile, in Thailand, food is a potential commodity for Vietnamese exporters due to high demand. In the structure of imported food products in Thailand, Việt Nam has a 6% market share, a small figure compared to 40% of American foods and more than 40% of New Zealand foods.

According to Nguyễn Thanh Huy, head of the Việt Nam Trade Office in Thailand, Thailand is an agricultural country, so Vietnamese agricultural products have to face competition from the same Thai products.

Food and processed products are also the target segments of Vietnamese companies, but there is fierce competition for these products among exporters.

In addition, Thailand has strict standards for the food industry, so it is not easy to import. Vietnamese companies without specific product and market strategies will find it difficult to compete in this market.

On the other hand, businesses in Việt Nam should study the market carefully as the distribution channels in Thailand are quite diverse, including traditional markets, convenience stores, supermarkets, and hypermarkets.

They should also prioritize healthy food products that are low in sugar and fat and pay close attention to the shopping habits of Thai customers on e-commerce platforms.

In the first five months of 2022, the total trade turnover between Việt Nam and Thailand reached $8.61 billion, up 8%. Thailand is now Việt Nam’s largest partner in the ASEAN region. The two countries have set an export value target of $25 billion by 2025.

Việt Nam now exports telephones and electronic components; machinery, equipment, tools, spare parts, textiles, clothing and seafood to Thailand.

Cambodian market

Le Hoàng Tài, deputy director of the Trade Promotion Department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said Cambodia was a potential market for Vietnamese companies.

Both countries had developed open policies to create favorable conditions for business activities, but to increase exports to Cambodia, local companies needed to study this market carefully to increase their market share.

According to Phan Văn Trường, Head of Việt Nam Trade Office in Cambodia, Việt Nam and Cambodia have many similar characteristics in terms of culture, market demand and consumption habits. These are favorable factors to help Vietnamese goods enter Cambodia.

Additionally, both are members of ASEAN and benefit from regional commitments such as the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA). This creates opportunities for investors from Việt Nam, Cambodia and other countries in the region to expand investment and development of value chains for export goods to ASEAN countries.

Mai Thị Kim Anh, the representative of an agricultural company, said that most companies encounter customs clearance difficulties at the Việt Nam border gates when exporting to Cambodia.

The biggest hurdles were often the change in procedures and operational methods while the working hours for the implementation of customs clearance were only from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Kim Anh said state management agencies should help companies update enough information to smoothly export goods to this market. Working hours must be regulated from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In 2021, Việt Nam’s export turnover to Cambodia will reach 4.8 billion dollars, up 15.7% compared to 2020.

In the first five months of this year, exports to Cambodia reached $2.6 billion, up 31.2 percent from the same period last year.

Việt Nam’s main export products to Cambodia include iron and steel, chemicals, plastics, machinery and electrical appliances, processed foods, confectionery and cereals. VNS

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