Vietnam, Thailand aim for bilateral trade of US$20 billion by 2020

09:18 | 24/05/2017 Trade

Vietnam’s Trade Promotion Agency signed a cooperative agreement with Thailand’s Kasikornbank on May 23 as part of a series of measures to boost trade between the two countries to US$20 billion by 2020.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai speaking at the signing ceremony

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said bilateral trade has seen strong growth in recent years, with Vietnam being Thailand’s second largest trading partner in ASEAN, whilst Thailand is Vietnam’s largest trading partner in the region.

In 2016, the two-way trade value reached US$12.5 billion, up nearly 9% from the previous year.

At the second meeting of the Vietnam-Thailand Joint Committee on Trade in July 2015, the two countries set a target to increase the trade value to US$20 billion by 2020.

Deputy Minister Hai stated that this target will be entirely achievable when Vietnam and Thailand begin implementing joint trade agreements in the coming years.

As of January 1 2015, Vietnam cut the tax rates on 8,600 types of Thai products to zero percent and the remaining 669 will be eliminated in 2018 while Thailand has also abolished tariffs on 9,500 lines of Vietnamese goods since 2012.

In addition to being a large trading partner, Thailand is also a major foreign investor in Vietnam, ranking 10th amongst the 115 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, with a US$8.13 billion investment in 458 projects, as of March 2017.

The deputy minister said despite considerable growth in trade and investment cooperation, there is still much room for improving cooperation between Vietnam and Thailand.

The two governments are working together to help enterprises capitalise on tax preferences to increase exports.

Regarding investment, the Vietnamese government will introduce policies on auxiliary and materials industries to strengthen the connection between domestic enterprises and foreign-invested enterprises, focusing on Thai investors in particular.