Vietnamese firms look to Thailand amid export challenges

By Thi Ha   August 29, 2023 | 03:00 pm PT
Vietnamese firms look to Thailand amid export challenges
Vietnamese goods are put on display at an event in Thailand on August 20, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Linh Dan
Many Vietnamese companies are looking to the Thai market to export their products this year as demand declines in the U.S. and EU.

Puripan Bunnag, senior vice president of the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, said in the first half of this year around 35,000 people from Vietnam have visited Thai exhibitions and fairs to explore opportunities to sell their products, a 20-30% increase from last year.

Vietnam’s exports to Thailand have risen by 2% year-on-year this year to US$4.3 billion. Some main products included crude oil, metals, machinery, vegetables, and seafood.

Bunnag said Thai consumers like Vietnamese agriculture produce.

Nguyen Huu Nam, deputy head of the Vietnam Federation of Commerce and Industry in HCMC, said exports have been plagued by difficulties this year, including a decline in orders from the U.S. and the E.U., two key markets.

Large Thai companies such as Central Retail, CP and SGC have been helping Vietnamese businesses export to Thailand, he said.

Some fruits such as mango, longan and lychee have been sold in Central Retail’s supermarkets in Thailand at four or five times higher prices than in Vietnam, he added.

Central Group has also recently partnered with 19 Vietnamese companies including King Coffee, Trung Nguyen Group, Napoli Coffee, Bibica (snacks), and Acecook and Vifon (instant noodles) to sell their products in Thailand.

Napoli Coffee CEO Nguyen Duc Hung told VnExpress that there are great opportunities for Vietnamese businesses to partner with Thai firms when they attend fairs in that country.

"We have learned a lot of marketing and packaging techniques from Thai firms to attract international buyers."

Vietnam runs a trade deficit with Thailand. Last year it exported $7.5 billion worth of goods to Thailand but imports topped $14.1 billion.

Industry insiders said Thailand protects its own businesses, making it hard for Vietnamese products to find their way there.

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