DFT Deputy Director-General Pongpun Gearaviriyapun has revealed that the department is currently leading a group of trade and investment representatives to Hanoi, Vietnam, during May 8-10, with the objective of expanding trade in the neighbouring country. Apart from business matching activities between Thai business operators and Vietnamese importers, the trip will also serve as an opportunity to explore possible ways to expand Thai products and services, such as ready-to-wear garments, motorcycles, restaurants, spas, tourism, education and logistics, in the Vietnamese market.
Ms. Pongpun explained that Vietnam is a potential market for Thai entrepreneurs as the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) approaches in 2015. Not only must Thailand work hard to gain more market shares in Vietnam, the country also must, in the meantime, rethink its import strategies and expand its production base to brace for the AEC.
The overall Thai-Vietnamese trade value in 2011 stood at 274.55 billion baht, with export accounting for 212.69 billion baht and import accounting for 61.85 billion baht. Major export products to Vietnam include chemicals, metal, rubber products and vehicles. Meanwhile, key imports include household electrical appliances, machinery, crude oil and fiber.
The DFT has estimated that trade activities between Thailand and Vietnam in 2012 will continue to expand at no less than 15%.