06:00 | 14/08/2020 Vietnam - Asean
(VEN) - Although it has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, Vietnamese-Thai trade is expected to recover quickly thanks to solid bilateral cooperation, Thai Trade Counsellor to Vietnam Pannakarn Jiamsuchon said in an interview with Vietnam Economic News’ Hoa Quynh.
How did the pandemic affect bilateral trade in the first half of 2020?
The pandemic not only affected the economy, including trade, in Thailand and Vietnam but also all countries worldwide. Annually, we organize four Top Thai Brands events to strengthen bilateral trade relations. In late June and early July, the Ministry of Commerce of Thailand held the Top Thai Brands 2020 in Hai Phong, Hanoi, and Can Tho. The events attracted the attention of Vietnamese consumers and businesses. Due to the pandemic, Thai businesses could not come to Vietnam, so only Vietnamese distributors and importers were invited to the events. The pandemic obstructed the transport and exchange of goods between the two countries while causing consumers to cut back spending, leading to a sharp drop in the demand for goods, and therefore affecting bilateral trade. Nevertheless, we believe that once the pandemic is controlled, bilateral trade will recover rapidly because Vietnam and Thailand have a solid trade and economic relationship.
As a safe destination, Vietnam is expected to attract investment shifted from other countries. Do you think Thai investors will increase investment in Vietnam?
The fact that Vietnam has kept the pandemic under control has made foreign investors more interested in the country. Vietnam signed free trade agreements with many countries, while Thai investors have hailed the country’s improved business environment. Infrastructure in Vietnam has developed over the past three to four years, while the Vietnamese labor force has increasingly met investor demand and requirements.
However, Thai investors face some difficulties when operating in Vietnam, for example in exchanging information and understanding partners due to differences in communication culture and language. If these problems are eased, more Thai businesses will come to Vietnam.
Thailand has become the ninth biggest foreign investor in Vietnam. The Thai Embassy in Vietnam will realize bilateral trade and investment promotion plans, including organization of a delegation of investors to survey industrial zones and other areas.
What will the Ministry of Commerce of Thailand do to increase bilateral trade?
Thailand and Vietnam have long-standing, close trade ties. The two countries are important economic partners. Bilateral trade has grown steadily and impressively to reach more than US$17 billion in 2019. The Ministry of Commerce of Thailand will launch trade and investment events in Vietnam and, at the same time, organize Vietnamese goods promotion activities in Thailand, including invitation of potential Vietnamese exporters to Thailand and getting Vietnamese businesses to import Thai goods and vice versa to gradually balance bilateral trade.