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New Trade Opportunities with Vietnam

By CGCC Vision

Hong Kong’s total exports to Vietnam grew 21% annually, and Vietnam was Hong Kong’s fifth largest export market in the first seven months of 2015. It is evident that trade relations between Hong Kong and Vietnam are increasingly close. In fact, Vietnam also has close relations with China, France and the US. Therefore, many Western countries are optimistic about the emerging market of Vietnam.

Currently, Vietnam is a part of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, and it has signed agreements on avoidance of double taxation with more than 60 countries and regions, including Mainland China and Hong Kong. Doan Duy Khuong, Vice-Chairman of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), pointed out that as the private sector is bound to become the main driving force of Vietnam’s economy in the future, ASEAN can create an open and level playing field for this sector.

Going global for investment opportunities

With the formal establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in late 2015, trade is expected to be more frequent and economic development will be more rapid in ASEAN. Hence, now is a good time to invest in Vietnam. Doan believes that in the future as trade, investment, economic and technical collaborations surge, agreements will mainly focus on these areas, which will also help resolve trade disputes. Under the current ASEAN Framework Agreement, it is hoped that there will be a broader and deeper involvement.

Challenges present opportunities

Doan expects Vietnam to face very intense competition in the region. He believes that at this stage, the Vietnamese Government should accelerate the reform of its business environment and strengthen institutional transparency. Moreover, other policies that will help enhance competitiveness, such as those for attracting foreign direct investment and infrastructure development, should be implemented concurrently. Overall, Doan believes that on the strength of its political, economic and resource advantages, Vietnam is one of Asia’s most attractive investment regions.

This article was firstly published in the magazine CGCC Vision February 2016 issue. Please click to read the full article.

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