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Hong Kong bullish on long-term Vietnam prospects   2008-09-22 - ThanhNien

The long term potentials of Vietnam are still a big draw among Hong Kong investors, a trade development official has affirmed.



Johnny Wan, Senior Exhibitions Manager of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), was in Ho Chi Minh City yesterday for a four-day visit to gain a better understanding of recent economic developments in the country.

He will meet with several officials from key industry associations including Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), Vietnam Food Association (VFA) and Ministry of Industry and Trade.

He said he would bring Vietnamese businessmen the latest industry news in support of their business expansion and introduce to them a “market place” to get in touch with worldwide partners via various specialized trade fairs in Hong Kong.

About 82 Vietnamese exhibitors and 1,500 buyers attended the various trade fairs in Hong Kong held by HKTDC last year.

The first eight months of this year has seen 45 Vietnamese companies successfully find international partners through HKTDC link ups.

Last year, two-way trade volume between Hong Kong and Vietnam exceeded US$2.3 billion, a 53 percent year-on-year increase.

“The economic turmoil this year in Vietnam would lower the trade volume, however the country remains a long-term potential investment spot,” he said.

Wan told local media that textile fabric, telecommunication equipment and alcohol were among top commodities imported from Hong Kong, while Vietnam mainly exported tobacco and raw materials to the Chinese territory.

Wan also discussed the current shortcomings in Vietnam including port congestion with extra fees and charges, high land prices in big cities and rising wages.

“Last year, a Hong Kong investor cancelled their investment project to build a garment factory in HCMC due to skyrocketing land prices,” he said.

Wan said a delegation led by Hong Kong’s Secretary of Finance will visit Vietnam in December to promote the banking and financial sectors, one of the major strengths of the Chinese territory.

According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), Hong Kong is ranked 7th among 81 countries and territories with FDI projects in the country.

The first eight months of 2008 saw 492 FDI projects from Hong Kong worth $6.3 billion licensed, MPI said.

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