13:42 | 14/07/2015 Trade
(VEN) - China’s plans to import more than US$10 trillion worth of goods and services and invest US$500 billion abroad within the next five years would create a lot of opportunities for Vietnam and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region to expand trade and investment with China.
At a recent workshop in Ho Chi Minh City, Commercial Counselor at the Chinese Consulate General in the city Li Zhenmin said Vietnam was China’s second largest trading partner among ASEAN countries. Data from China Customs show that Chinese imports from Vietnam have grown 15-20 percent annually in recent years.
A Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) report shows that in the first five months of this year, bilateral trade between Vietnam and China continued to increase. Vietnam exported to China US$6.1 billion worth of products, and imported US$15.9 billion worth of Chinese products, meaning a US$9.8 deficit in Vietnam’s trade with China. Major Vietnamese exports to China included crude oil, telephones and components, rubber, rice, fruit, vegetables, and seafood. Vietnamese imports from China mostly included machinery and equipment, iron, steel, and fertilizers.
China has been the largest export market for Vietnamese agricultural products over the last many years, accounting for about one third of the export value. However, purchases by Chinese traders have been unstable, creating difficulties for Vietnamese farmers and businesses.
Counselor Li Zhenmin said Vietnamese and Chinese businesses still lacked information about each other’s markets and this was the main factor hindering bilateral trade. Chinese importers are unaware of the actual situation in the Vietnamese market, while Vietnamese exporters cannot contact capable, reputable Chinese importers. Therefore, it is necessary to set up a transnational e-commerce portal so that businesses of the two sides can use the internet to publicize their information, thus facilitating trading activities. On their side, Vietnamese businesses should improve the quality of export products and avoid violating intellectual property rights and manufacturing or buying counterfeit goods, he emphasized.
Mao Ren Lai, Head of the China Business Association in Ho Chi Minh City, said in the time to come, the Chinese side would establish an agricultural product transaction center for the Mekong Delta. This center will provide Chinese businesses with information about Vietnamese agricultural products and their suppliers.
Furthermore, Vietnam and China need to increase cooperation to tighten management over border trade between the two countries. Agricultural cooperation zones will be established to promote the export of Vietnamese agricultural products to China in the long-term.
China is a large market with 1.3 billion consumers, including 400 million regular internet users. Therefore, there is great potential for increasing Vietnamese exports to China via the e-commerce portals, Chinese Commercial Counselor Li Zhenmin said.