Vietnamese-Lao trade expected to grow 10 percent

09:30 | 28/05/2019 Vietnam - Asean

(VEN) - Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith have committed to increasing bilateral trade by 10 percent in 2019. 

Vietnamese businesses are prioritized in Laos

Le Thi Phuong Hoa, commercial counselor at the Vietnam Trade Office in Laos told Vietnam Economic News that Laos is a potential market for Vietnamese goods. The two countries have a special relationship and the two governments have built favorable policies and legal corridors to facilitate bilateral trade, a notable one of which is the Vietnam-Laos Border Trade Agreement, she said. The two ministries of industry and trade worked together to build a project for bilateral trade development from 2017-2026 with a vision to 2035, signed and implemented a memorandum of understanding on launching a Vietnamese-Lao economic and trade website. They also approved a plan for development of Vietnamese-Lao border markets and a plan for cargo warehouse development in Vietnamese-Lao border areas, Hoa said.

However, Hoa said Vietnamese goods are facing barriers in Laos, including competition from goods of the same kind from other countries in the region. Many Vietnamese businesses do not have their own distribution networks and are offering goods through sales agents in Laos, resulting in high markups and low competitive ability compared to products of the same kind from Thailand and China, Hoa added. Trade infrastructure, including transport and communication infrastructure, and payment, transport and forwarding services in Vietnamese-Lao border areas, remains poor.

Under the cooperation agreement signed by the two governments at the 41st meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Inter-Governmental Committee in Hanoi, leaders of the neighboring countries committed to increasing bilateral trade by 10 percent in 2019.

Hoa said Vietnam Trade Office in Laos will help Vietnamese businesses participate in trade fairs, including a Vietnamese-Laos trade fair to be held from June 27 to July 1, open a sample booth at the trade office headquarters to pave the way for Vietnamese goods to penetrate into Laos, and provide Vietnamese businesses with the latest information about Laos policies. The trade office will also assist Vietnamese businesses in overcoming difficulties, carrying out investment and payment procedures, establishing companies in Laos and signing contracts with partners in Laos, and provide them with information about partners and customers in Laos.

Vietnamese-Lao trade hit US$1 billion plus in 2018, up 14 percent from 2017. More than 400 Vietnamese projects in

Laos totaling US$4.1 billion in registered capital have been contributing to Laos’ budget revenues and socioeconomic

development

Bao Ngoc