Around 40 Thai companies participated in the Vietnam-Thailand Business Meeting and Matching held in Ho Chi Minh City yesterday (August 26). The event was organised by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in collaboration with Thailand’s Ministry of Trade and the Thai Consulate General.

Participating businesses included manufacturers of shoes, leather accessories and textiles aiming to find suitable local distributers or trade partners. During a speech, Malinee Harnboonsong, Commercial Councillor and Director of the Trade Centre within the Thai Consulate General said the program is part of Thailand’s preparation for business opportunities when the ASEAN Business Community (AEC) is formed at the end of this year.

Large Thai corporations are planning to boost investment in Vietnam in the next five years by establishing production centres to export their products to other countries. According to Harnboonsong, Vietnam was chosen to compensate the limitations that Thai businesses face as many of them cannot export to the E.U.

Vietnam, however, reached an agreement in principle of a free trade pact with the EU last August 4, which includes the mutual dissolution of most tariffs; Vietnam should exonerate tariffs over a ten-year period, and the over a seven-year period. Moreover, following a meeting with the U.S and Japan earlier this month, Vietnam is expected to join the Trans-Pacific Partneship trade agreement (TPP).

Trade turnover between Vietnam and Thailand reached US$10.6 billion in 2014, up 12.5% from 2013. So far, this figure has reached US$5.2 billion in the first half of 2015, up 8% compared to the same period last year.

Both countries have set a target to raise bilateral trade revenue to US$20 billion by 2020.

Source: Tuoi Tre News