VN exporters look to boost trade with Cambodia

Monday, Apr 06, 2015 08:00

Many other Vietnamese firms too report an increase in exports to Cambodia despite the fierce competition from Thai and Chinese products. — Photo thanhnien

by Le Hung Vong

The efforts to promote trade with the neighbouring country also include the 2015 HCM City Expo held by the HCM City Investment and Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC) in Cambodia's Battambang Province between April 1 and 5.

These follow a poor year in 2014 when Vietnamese exports dropped by 8.7 per cent to US$2.66 billion.

Uu Viet Mattress Ltd. is a Vietnamese firm that has achieved 10 per cent annual growth in exports to Cambodia.

It has promoted its products in Phnom Penh, Siem Riep, Battambang, and Sihanoukville cities of Cambodia, including at the 2015 HCM City Expo held by the HCM City Investment and Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC) in Battambang from April 1 to 5.

Like Uu Viet, many other Vietnamese firms too report an increase in exports to Cambodia despite the fierce competition from Thai and Chinese products.

Nguyen Van Cong from HCM City-based production and trading company Tan Quang Minh said his firm's Bidrico's beverage was being sold in markets, shops and malls across Cambodia.

But Tan Quang Minh has been taken efforts to promote its products and brands. The firm has been seeking distributors and sale agencies for its products in the northwestern region of the country.

HCM City-based foodstuff company Hong Phu JSC, which has also exported fish sauce and others to Cambodia, did a study of Battambang and north-western provinces through the 2015 HCM City Expo.

According to the Vietnamese consulate in Battambang, Vietnamese goods that sell well in the north-western region of Cambodia include household consumer goods, building materials, decorative items, refrigerative appliances, farming equipment and machinery, animal feed, seeds and saplings, and plant and animal protection drugs.

But luxury goods like cosmetics, garments, and leather products are not popular in the region, which borders Thailand and Laos and is far from Viet Nam and thus still off the radars of Vietnamese businesses.

Better promotions and transportation, improved packaging and better quality will help Vietnamese products better tap the markets in Cambodia's north-west, Vietnamese diplomats say.

Based on these recommendations, ITPC organised fact-finding tours of Poipet (in Banteay Meanchey Province) and Doong (Battambang Province) on the border with Thailand during the 2015 HCM City Expo.

To achieve the $5 billion trade mark this year, the Vietnamese commercial counsellor in Cambodia proposed working together to implement bilateral economic, trade and investment co-operation agreements to create a more favourable and safe environment in Cambodia for Vietnamese businesses.

The official also called for stronger efforts to stop contraband and counterfeit goods which caused damage to the markets in both countries.

Assessing impacts

The HCM City administration has urged official agencies and businesses to assess the impacts of electricity and fuel price hikes on production and business plans.

Speaking at a meeting on March 27 to review the city's socio-economic growth in the first quarter, Le Hoang Quan, the People's Committee Chairman, asked relevant agencies to also review the impacts of the price hikes on passenger and cargo transport tariffs.

According to the People's Committee, the first quarter saw the city economy performing better than a year earlier.

But Quan warned that businesses should be prepared since electricity and fuel price hikes might pose major challenges in the second and third quarters.

The city's first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) was worth VND202 trillion (US$9.38 billion), up 8 per cent from the same period last year.

It also enjoyed a trade surplus of $700 million in the period, according to the city Department of Planning and Investment.

Thai Van Re, director of the Department, said the economy had regained its high-growth trajectory with the first quarter GDP growing steadily in the past three years. The March consumer price index inched up 0.16 per cent month-on-month and prices have seen mild volatility after the Lunar New Year (Tet) holidays in late February.

Exports dropped by 1.9 per cent to $7 billion, while imports were marginally down at $6.3 billion. Notably, the city had received remittances of $1.2 billion and foreign direct investment of nearly $735 million, Re said. — VNS

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