Vietnam urged to use Hong Kong to extend international reach

By Hoai Nhon   September 24, 2018 | 05:34 pm GMT+7
Vietnam urged to use Hong Kong to extend international reach
Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan at the In Style Hong Kong Expo held at the GEM Center in Saigon last Thursday. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa
Vietnamese firms can overcome their internal limitations by doing business in and with Hong Kong, experts say.

Paul Chan, Hong Kong’s financial secretary, said the territory presents many business opportunities that Vietnamese firms can tap in order to expand their markets in Asia and other continents.

Addressing the In Style Hong Kong Expo held in Saigon last Thursday, he also said that Hong Kong can help Vietnamese companies overcome internal limitations and take their products to the global marketplace.

This process will be facilitated by the ASEAN-Hong Kong-Free Trade Agreement (AHKFTA) and the ASEAN-Hong Kong-Investment Agreement (AHKIA), signed last year, he said. The agreements will come into force on January 1, 2019.

The agreements will “promote stronger economic relations between Hong Kong and Vietnam, facilitating the flow of goods, services and investments," he said.

Prominent Hong Kong business leaders including Jonathan K.S. Choi of the Sun Wah Group, Dr John Cheh of Esquel Group, Wallace Lam of banking giant HSBC and others also highlighted how Hong Kong can facilitate the business expansion of Vietnamese companies.

“I look forward to cooperating more closely with a country that is leader in rice and coffee exports. Sunwah is ready to become a support channel if any Hong Kong brands want to enter this market," Jonathan K.S. Choi said.

Vincent HS Lo, chairman of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, said he believes that Vietnam is a bright spot in the world economy, with dynamic enterprises having great growth potential.

Anthony Lau, Chairman of Pacific Air Hong Kong, also emphasized that Vietnamese enterprises cooperating with Hong Kong will benefit from modern logistics knowhow.

Hong Kong ranks Vietnam its largest export market in ASEAN and 6th in the world.

In 2017, total bilateral trade between Vietnam and Hong Kong reached $18.11 billion, rising 11.7 percent over the previous year.

According to the Foreign Investment Department, Hong Kong was sixth largest FDI provider for Vietnam last year, with registered capital of $17.7 billion.

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