Bilateral trade turnover between Vietnam and Thailand has enjoyed positive growth in recent times and is predicted to reach US$18 billion by the end of 2019, whilst 2020 will likely see the fulfillment of a US$20 billion target.
Ambassador Tanee Sangrat said the strategic partnership between both countries has been seen considerable consolidation in recent years. In particular, trade and investment ties between the two nations have developed well as Thailand ranked ninth among foreign investors in the nation and second among Southeast Asian nations injecting their money into Vietnam.
Strengthening trade promotional activities for Thai products
According to Thai ambassador Tanee Sangrat, Thailand has several strengths in producing and processing agricultural products, with a variety of Thai food products being popular among Vietnamese consumers.
In addition, products that contain medicinal herbs have great potential and advantages in the domestic market in the future. Moreover, fine arts and handicraft products enjoy a wealth of opportunities for future growth within the Vietnamese market.
In the context of the country’s comprehensive integration into the global economy, several goods and products from nations such as Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the EU have begun establishing a presence in the domestic market.
The Thai diplomat has advised businesses from the Southeast Asian country to undergo radical reforms in terms of production and packaging procedures in an attempt to attract Vietnamese consumers and enhance the competitiveness of Thai goods in the local market.
Simultaneously, it is pivotal that Thai businesses should provide safer and friendlier products that meet the increasing demands and tastes of Vietnamese consumers.
Thailand should organise exhibitions and trade fairs aimed at promoting their goods, the Thai ambassador recommended, adding that since the beginning of the year the Thai embassy has co-ordinated efforts with their Board of Investment to send five delegations to Vietnam to help them gain insights into investment opportunities and the consumers’ tastes so that they can make appropriate adjustments.
The ambassador noted that the Thai Festival 2019 in Hanoi will mark one of the Thailand’s major events in Vietnam, aiming to intensify trade and investment ties between the two countries as strategic partners.
The event will be held at AEON Mall Long Bien, drawing the participation of 70 Thai businesses to display and sell their products under the One Commune-One Product programme.
During the festival, Thai firms will introduce products that have been carefully selected from communes belonging to provinces and cities from across Thailand, including processed food, beverages, confectioneries, and handicrafts.
Working towards bilateral trade balance
In order to provide Vietnamese people with a greater insight into products from the ASEAN partner, the Thai embassy hosted a wide range of connectivity activities in a bid to expand the network of business across all spheres that exist between the two countries. However, both sides need to make greater efforts to maintain the trade balance.
Currently, many Vietnamese people living in Thailand possess a deep understanding of the culture, customs, and tastes of Thai consumers. Like-wise, a large number of Thai-born Vietnamese people also live in Vietnam.
Furthermore, Vietnam has advantages of delicious fruit products, especially dragon fruit and lychee as the country should look to strengthen trade promotional activities for their products by organizing trade fairs in Thailand.
At present, two of Thailand’s major retailers, namely Central Group, the owner of the Big C supermarket chain, and TCC Holdings, the owner of the Mega Market system, are operating in the Vietnamese market.
These groups have also hosted a number of trade promotional activities which introduced Vietnamese products to the local Thai market, which is expected to make a contribution to maintaining trade balance between the two countries.
The governor of the Bank of Thailand recently paid a working visit to Vietnam to meet with the governor of the State Bank of Vietnam.
During the meeting, both sides expressed their desire to speed up the use of a common currency within the ASEAN bloc when making payments and transactions. This is considered to be an effective way to reduce costs and contribute to maintaining the trade balance.
In addition to promotional activities, ASEAN member states need to be active by enforcing measures such as removing trade barriers and reducing taxes for consumption goods within the bloc.
Moreover, the customs sector has been urged to apply advanced technologies in a bid to ensure that customs clearance procedures for import and export activities are conducted in both fast and efficient manner for all parties involved.