Deputy Director of ITPC Tran Phu Lu stated in the conference that in spite of various challenges posed by the pandemic, Thailand has always been the largest trading partner of Vietnam in ASEAN, with the bilateral trade turnover of US$18.7 billion in 2021, an increase by 17.9 percent compared to 2020. Having a total accumulated investment of $13 billion, Thailand stands at the ninth position among 140 nations and territories investing in Vietnam.
Obviously, thanks to understanding the needs and tastes of Thai people, many domestic enterprises like Bibica, Dai Viet, Hai Binh, Trung Nguyen, Vinamit, Chinsufoods have achieved impressive results in exporting seafood, produce, processed food, electrical goods, iron and steel, textiles, and wood products.
However, lately, several Vietnamese businesses have encountered trade barriers and trade defense measures by Thailand. For instance, the country has imposed anti-dumping tax on certain iron and steel products, requested Thai Industrial Standards (TIS) certificates for galvanized steel products or import permit for dairy products to enjoy preferential tax in ASEAN.
Aware of this, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has quickly stepped in to address any issues in import-export activities between the two nations. Furthermore, to promote export to Thailand, especially produce, this ministry has proposed the destination country to accelerate import permit issuance to five fresh fruits, namely sugar-apple, grapefruit, rambutan, passion fruit, and star apple.
Many conference participants voiced that they could not export their goods to Thailand even with a valid cooperation agreement at hand. There seems to be no formal information related to agreement renewal from Thai partners.
Answering this, Nguyen Thi Thu Hien, External Affairs Director in the Central and Southern regions of Central Retail Vietnam, requested necessary documents to immediately contact her colleagues in Thailand to address this. She also added that since the Covid-19 pandemic, consumption tastes of Thai people have changed to high quality products with reasonable prices, using advanced technologies to save cost. They favor stores with attractive decoration and able to provide customized services.
Products to boost physical health and to be environmentally friendly are on the top-list of Thai people at the moment. Thailand is a highly potential export market for domestic enterprises, but it also has certain requirements for these businesses to satisfy to increase their competitiveness, said Director Hien.
Vietnamese enterprises hope that when the pandemic is less serious, export turnover to this country will increase accordingly, as long as they can offer high-quality and environmentally friendly goods, along with attentive after-sale services.
ITPC informed that every year, it organizes trade promotion events between Vietnam – Thailand, such as the ‘Week of Vietnamese Products in Thailand’, held every November, so that domestic companies can promote their merchandise in the destination country to seek possible contracts.