Vietnam wants China to import more, invest more

By Dat Nguyen   December 21, 2018 | 02:36 pm GMT+7
Vietnam wants China to import more, invest more
Containers of China Shipping are loaded at a port in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo by Reuters/Kham
China should increase imports of Vietnamese goods and make more hi-tech investments, government officials and business representatives say.

Le Hoai Trung, Vietnam's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, proposed at the Vietnam-China Economic Promotion Forum Thursday that China creates more favorable conditions for more Vietnamese goods to enter the country through border gates.

"We hope that the Chinese government will be more open to the Vietnam market, especially for products that Vietnam has strong supply and China has high demand for, such as rice, pork, milk, agriculture, seafood, electronics and consumer goods," Trung told the forum attended by 500 Vietnamese government and business representatives and 200 Chinese counterparts.

Vietnam has a high trade deficit with China. From January to November, the country exported $37.7 billion worth of goods to China and imported $59.6 billion, a trade deficit of $21.9 billion, according to Vietnam Customs.

Vu Tien Loc, chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: "Although Vietnam’s exports to China have been increasing this year and trade deficit is declining, I don’t think this trend will be sustainable."

He said it would require a big effort from authorities to pave the way for Vietnamese goods, especially agriculture products, to enter China.

Loc also proposed that that unofficial trade activities between the two countries at the border be formalized to guarantee long-term benefits for both sides.

As protectionism in the world rises, Vietnam and China need to cooperate to control trade cheating, like Chinese businesses exporting its goods via Vietnam to other countries, which would impact on sustainable development of both countries, Loc said.

Trung said at the forum that Vietnam welcomes foreign direct investment from China that is focused on high technology in infrastructure, supporting industry and agriculture.

He added that Chinese FDI businesses should ensure environmental protection and Vietnamese labors’ benefits when investing in the country. 

Loc added that China, as a leading country in the world in the high-tech sector, can provide this kind of investment to Vietnam.

"Vietnam is looking for a new type of foreign investment which has higher quality, integrate more with Vietnamese businesses using high-technology which are environment-friendly," he said.

China is Vietnam’s largest import market, while Vietnam is China’s largest trading partner in ASEAN and the 8th in the world.

From January to November, bilateral trade turnover reached over $97 billion, up 16.5 percent year-on-year, according to official data.

China has invested in over 2,000 projects in Vietnam, with a total registered capital of $13 billion. It ranks 7th out of 129 countries with FDI in Vietnam.

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