10:22 | 01/09/2015 Cooperation
(VEN) - In a talk with Vietnam Economic News’ Nguyen Huong on the occasion of the Thailand Trade Exhibition - Thailand Week 2015”, Usa Wijarurn, Minister Counselor, the Office of Commercial Affairs, the Royal Thai Embassy in Hanoi, said: “The imbalance in trade turnover structure between Vietnam and Thailand will be improved in the near future especially after the ASEAN Economic Community’s establishment by the end of this year.”
What is your view on economic and trade relations between Vietnam and Thailand up to now, especially in the first seven months of this year?
Vietnam and Thailand officially established diplomatic relations on August 6, 1976. The bilateral relations have been gradually consolidated and developed since 1991, especially since Vietnam’s admission to ASEAN in 1995. As we know that Vietnam currently is the second largest trading partner of Thailand among ASEAN and the ninth largest trading partner of Thailand internationally showing that Vietnam and Thailand are strategic trading partners. It also interprets that Vietnam is a very potential market for not only Thailand but also other countries.
Trade turnover between the two countries has been increasing for years, from around US$3.0 million in 1995 to US$10.6 billion in 2014.
For the first half of 2015, the two-way trade turnover was US$5.41 billion, nearly US$1.0 billion higher than the first half of last year and it is set to reach US$20 billion by 2020.
With those impressive statistics and a series of cooperation programs between the two countries that have been underway, economic and trade relations between Vietnam and Thailand are on the rise, in my point of view.
You can see a number of advantages of the Vietnamese market such as the big population of around 90 million including a large percentage of young people with modern trends in consuming. Vietnam is one of the most actively developing countries in terms of integration into the regional and international markets. It is also a member of ASEAN, APEC, ASEM and WTO with a series of free trade agreements (FTAs). Vietnam must be a desirable market for any country in terms of expanding business globally.
Vietnam currently imports from Thailand much more than it exports to this country. What is your advice for Vietnamese companies which export to Thailand?
We can see that the balance in trade between Vietnam and foreign partners has been improved in the direction that the export value is higher than imports in recent years.
The Vietnamese and Thai markets are quite similar in terms of product ranges and consumer behavior so Vietnamese companies should focus on the quality and the price of their exports to Thailand.
In my opinion, the imbalance in trade between the two countries will be improved in the near future especially after the AEC’s establishment by end of this year.
Thailand and Vietnam recently expected to increase bilateral trade revenues from US$10.6 billion in 2014 to US$20 billion by 2020. What should Vietnam and Thailand do to reach the goal?
I think to reach the target, both countries need to strengthen cooperation in all economic sectors. We are ASEAN. We are AEC. So I see a lot of reasons as motivations for us to realize the target by 2020.
What is your assessment on the potential of the retail market in Vietnam? How has the Thailand Week 2015 in Hanoi affected trade relations between Vietnam and Thailand?
Vietnam is a very potential retail market with the booming of business ties with foreign partners in recent years based on the demand of the 90-million population preferring modern trends of purchasing goods. Besides, the retail market in Vietnam provides the most important condition to assure the expansion and development of the wholesale market. It paves the way for the wholesale market and investment as a whole.
We have organized the Thailand Trade Exhibition - Thailand Week in Vietnam in general and in Hanoi in particular for 14 years. This 15th Thailand Week in Hanoi marks a new step-up on our way to reach the target of US$20 billion by 2020 and contribute partly to the development of economic and trade relations between Vietnam and Thailand.