Economic experts highlighted Hong Kong as a potential export market for Vietnamese goods during a recent seminar to discuss ways to boost exports via the port city.
Director of the Export Assistance Centre under the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency, Le Xuan Duong, said despite its population of more than seven million, the Hong Kong Administrative Region recorded a very high per capita income of US$36,000 in 2012. Agriculture makes no contribution to the region’s GDP while services, including transport, telecom, banking, finance, healthcare and education, constitute nearly 93 percent.
Hong Kong primarily imports food and foodstuffs from abroad due to its shortage of cultivated land, which creates favourable conditions for the Vietnamese agricultural sector to push exports to this lucrative market.
Its main advantages are modern transport infrastructure, low tax rates, minimal government interference in business, and well developed services for retail and wholesale trade.
The region also has the busiest airport in the world for transporting international cargo and the third busiest container port.
As an important financial and trade centre for Asia and the world, Hong Kong is considered an ideal destination for major Asia Pacific companies as well as a trade and investment gateway linking China with other countries.
The region ranks 11th in global trade volume with an import turnover of US$504 billion in 2012, up 3.9 percent, and US$443 billion in export earnings, up 2.9 percent over the previous year.
The double tax avoidance agreement between Vietnam and Hong Kong effective from January 2010 adds fresh impetus for increasing Vietnamese exports to Hong Kong.
In 2012, Vietnam ranked 17 out of the 30 countries with the strongest trade ties with Hong Kong, raking in US$4.7 billion in total export-import turnover, of which Vietnam exported US$3.7 billion, up 12 percent, and imported US$1 billion worth of goods, up 10.7 percent over a year earlier.
Key Vietnamese exports include agricultural produce, office and telecommunication equipment, computers, electronic and semi-conductor components.
Vietnamese businesses should seize opportunities and take advantage of low-cost product promotion packages to achieve greater penetration in other markets through Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) will coordinate with Vietnam’s Support Assistance Centre to launch trade promotions for Vietnamese businesses, which will enable them to display their products at trade fairs and exhibitions in Hong Kong.
Vietnamese businesses can also approach international customers and seek potential clients through HKTDC comprehensive marketing solutions such as advertising products online at hktdc.com and in HKTDC magazines, Duong said.