VN urged to tap China trade, investment
China is expected to import more than $10 trillion in goods and services and invest $500 billion abroad in the next five years, offering opportunities for Viet Nam and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
Vietnamese agricultural products are transported to China through the Lao Cai International Bordergate. China is the largest buyer of agricultural goods from Viet Nam.
Speaking at a seminar held on June 27 in HCM City, Li Zhenmin, commercial and economic counselor at the Chinese Consulate General, urged Viet Nam to seek Chinese partners for long-term cooperation in trade and investment.
Viet Nam's trade deficit with China has ballooned in recent years, and now stands at $9.8 billion.
While Vietnamese officials have urged China to increase imports, Zhenmin said that China had opened its doors to Vietnamese exports.
Citing statistics from China's Customs department, he said China's import turnover from Viet Nam had recorded an average growth of 15-20 per cent per year in recent years, a relatively high rate.
For many years, China has been the largest buyer of agricultural exports from Viet Nam.
Viet Nam is the second largest trade partner of China in the ASEAN region.
This year, bilateral trade between the two countries is expected to reach $100 billion, Zhenmin said.
"To increase cooperation, a transnational e-commerce floor for the two countries should be established. We can take advantage of the internet to increase information transparency, which would create favourable conditions for the two countries' businesses," he said.
Chinese importers did not understand the Vietnamese market fully, he said, adding that Vietnamese businesses also encountered obstacles and should seek only competent and reliable Chinese importers.
Zhenmin advised Vietnamese businesses to increase export quality, avoid violations of intellectual property rights, and refuse to make or buy counterfeit products.
Nguyen The Hung, deputy director of the HCM City branch of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said bilateral relations between Viet Nam and China had shown impressive growth but there was still unexploited potential.
Last year, the total export-import turnover of the two countries reached $58.7 billion, an increase of 16.5 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Viet Nam's exports in 2014 totalled $14.9 billion, up 11.8 per cent. Imports were $43.8 billion, an increase of 18.2 per cent.
In the first five months of this year, Vietnamese exports to China reached US$6.1 billion, a decrease of 1.2 per cent over the same period last year.
Viet Nam's imports totalled $15.9 billion, an increase of 19.1 per cent in the first five months.
Viet Nam's main exports to China are crude oil, telephones and parts, rubber, rice, fruit, vegetables and seafood, while it imported machinery, equipment, steel and fertiliser from China.
Last year, China had the largest number of tourists to Viet Nam (1.9 million), an increase of 2.1 per cent over 2013.
In the first five months, the number of Chinese tourists to Viet Nam reached 700,000.
China had a total of 1,112 projects with total registered capital of $8 billion by March this year, ranking ninth among 100 countries and territories investing in Viet Nam.
China had 99 investment projects in Viet Nam with total investment capital of $253 million in 2014.