With Myanmar, Vietnam is considered the largest trade partner, ranking 10th in the trading partners of Myanmar.
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In recent years, relations between Vietnam-Myanmar have improved at a relatively high rate, especially in 2013, 2014 at a rate of 54.7%, and 36.7% respectively. However, since 2015, trade between the two countries has been in significant decline, decreased by 58.3% compared to 2014. However, Myanmar is still considered as a promising market for Vietnam's exports.
According to Mr.VuCuong, Deputy Head of Northeast Asia Division, Asia- Pacific Market Department (Ministry of Industry and Trade), one of the advantages of Vietnam's exports to Myanmar is that Vietnamese products are quite popular with Myanmar customers because of good quality and low prices (compared to two other competitors, China and Thailand). In the first 9 months of 2016, Vietnam had 13 groups of products exported to Myanmar, the largest turnover were transport vehicles and spare parts, followed by machinery, equipment, tools, iron and steel products.
Another advantage is that the trade promotion activities were held regularly by local authorities and the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Vietnam is one of the earliest countriesto organize trade promotion activities in Myanmar. "With the advantage of going first,quickly approaching enterprises and consumers of Myanmar, the maintenance and expansion of trade promotion activities in this market will continue to help Vietnamese enterprises and goods to consolidate and expand market share in Myanmar, as well as helping business and new products of Vietnam to penetrate the market ", Mr.Cuong said.
However, difficulties in exporting to this market are not few. Specifically, when exporting to Myanmar, Vietnamese goods face fierce competition from other countries with similar products, especially Thailand and China. According to Mr.Cuong'sanalysis, with large production scale, investing in market research and powerful trade promotion activities, these rivals have a large advantage to dominate the market.Not only that, the Vietnamese goods have a disadvantage with long shipping time and high transport costs. Currently, the average time of goods shipping by sea from Vietnam to Myanmar is about 2 weeks. Along with high transport costs, Customs procedures and quarantine of Myanmar has been slow, Vietnamese goods, especially instant cooking food products, have a short expiry date, which is a severe disadvantage, reducing the competitiveness against rivals.
Notably, Vietnamese enterprises still lack information, not to proactively research and careful scrutinize the Myanmar market. Besides, most Vietnamese enterprises financial capacity is limited, not to build strategy in approaching the Myanmar market. "This is a disadvantage for Vietnamese enterprises in competition with potential businesses and professional enterprises in Thailand, China," Mr. Cuong said.
Looking for niche markets, focusing on strong commodities in Myanmar are tips for enterprises who want to export to this market. According to Asia-Pacific Market Department, there are 9 groups of commodities which can be invested in the near future to promote, including motorcycles, bicycles; small trucks; machinery, equipment, tools and spare parts; steel and steel products; chemical products; sweets and cereal products; clinker bricks and cement; plastics and plastic products; textiles.
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According to Mr.Cuong, the textile commodity currently ranks 2nd in goods with high export turnover in Myanmar. Overall, Myanmar is the competitor of Vietnam in textile exporting to other countries. But some items in the textile group of Vietnam still export to Myanmar including: Blankets, sheets, cover sheet, pillowcases, and tablecloths for restaurants and hotels.
By D.Anh/Hoang Nam
D.Anh/ Hoàng Nam