Myanmar offers big market for Vietnamese goods, say experts
Myanmar is considered a very promising market for Vietnamese companies because of factors like cultural similarities, similar consumption trends, low cost of market research, and easy export procedures, experts have said.
Pham Thiet Hoa, director of the Investment and Trade Promotion Centre of HCM City, said Myanmar was a great market for Viet Nam's agricultural, iron and steel and dairy products, and auto and machinery spare parts.
This year Vinamilk, the country’s biggest dairy company, invested in its first factory in Myanmar to meet the increasing demand for milk and milk products there.
Milk consumption in that country, which has a population of 55 million, is 10 litres per capita per year. It is 17 litres in Viet Nam.
Consumers there are particularly fond of Vietnamese fresh produce and processed foods such as coffee and fruits, according to Nguyen Tien Minh, an economist.
The prices of Vietnamese goods are very competitive, especially compared to those imported from non-ASEAN countries, because ASEAN members have a free trade agreement with each other.
"But we face fierce competition from companies in the region, which requires Vietnamese enterprises to improve product quality and reduce costs to improve their competitiveness.”
Vietnamese manufacturers must also make efforts to establish their brands in the global market and invest more in product packaging and labelling, he said.
“Foreign buyers require standardisation and uniformity in quality, weight and specifications.”
Minh was speaking at a conference on promoting Vietnamese exports to Myanmar in HCM City yesterday.
Bilateral trade was worth US$860 million last year, making Viet Nam the ninth largest trade partner of Myanmar.
Viet Nam is also the seventh largest investor in Myanmar with 18 large projects totally worth nearly $2.2 billion.
Major companies such as Hoang Anh Gia Lai, the Bank for Investment and Development and Viettel have operations there.
To promote Vietnamese goods, the Viet Nam Trade Promotion Agency will host an annual goods fair in Yangon from December 19 to 22.
It will feature 100 stalls displaying processed foods, consumer products, machinery and equipment, electrical and electronic goods, and medical and chemical products.