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Vietnam-Malaysia economic cooperation soars

Released at: 10:25, 09/12/2016

Vietnam-Malaysia economic cooperation soars

Photo: N. Quynh

The two country's bilateral trade is expected to reach $15 billion or higher by 2020.

by Nguyen Quynh

Vietnam is an important economic partner of Malaysia in ASEAN with the two country’s bilateral trade expected to reach $15 billion or higher by 2020, according to Mr. Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry of Malaysia.

He announced this at the Malaysia-Vietnam Business Roundtable Meeting held on December 8. He also stressed that a growing number of Malaysian investors are keen on Vietnam’s investment environment, especially in the manufacturing and supporting, construction and infrastructure, banking and finance, and health industries.

“Vietnam is one of the growing markets in Southeast Asia for automobiles and commercial vehicles,” he said. “Malaysian companies are keen to participate in not only car production but also in supporting industries that create auto components.”

Health tourism is also an emerging sector that many Malaysian health care providers are looking into expanding to Vietnam. Meanwhile, in the manufacturing sector, Malaysian companies have established a strong presence in the country.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai agrees that Vietnam and Malaysia have a lot of potential to strengthen economic bilateral trade. However, he insisted that the results achieved in recent years have not really been commensurate in terms of potential for cooperation between the two countries.

“Vietnam is speeding up the negotiations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) and hopes that this will create an important legal framework for promoting economic cooperation relations between Vietnam and developed countries.”

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai

“Vietnam hopes Malaysian investors continue to promote investments in sectors such as energy, mining, oil and gas, iron and steel production,” said Mr. Hai. “Restriction of applying trade barriers and strengthening exchanges and cooperation will be the aims of the two countries in the times to come, to strengthen trade and investment.”

Bilateral economic relations between Vietnam and Malaysia have been expanding over the years having increased from $2.2 billion in 2005 to $9.3 billion in 2015. Vietnam was Malaysia’s 13th largest trading partner in 2015. Within ASEAN, Vietnam was Malaysia’s 4th largest trading partner, export destination and source of imports from 2010-2015.

Malaysia, in 2015, was Vietnam’s 10th largest trading partner, 10th largest exports destination and 8th largest source of imports.

In terms of investment, Malaysia ranked as the 7th largest investor in Vietnam as of November, 2016 with 545 projects and investment capital of over $12 billion. Meanwhile, in the last two years, Vietnam’s investments in Malaysia amounted to $190 million - mainly in manufacturing, ICT, oil and gas exploration and trading.

Mr. Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed is leading a business mission to Vietnam from December 8-10. The business mission delegation consists of prominent business leaders who are members of the ASEAN Business Club and Kuala Lumpur Business Club. The purpose of the business mission is to explore potential trade and seek investment opportunities in Vietnam.

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