Increased trade promotions and geographic proximity are among the factors that could help expedite exports to Thailand.
There remains considerable room for Vietnamese exports to Thailand, regardless of fierce competition from similar products in the Thai market.
In fact, Vietnam’s trade promotion agencies have constantly hosted a wide range of activities aimed to assist local firms in selling goods to Thailand in recent years, thus boosting bilateral trade turnover between the two countries at large.
A website of the Vietnam Trade Office in Thailand has regularly updated market information, especially those on trade promotions in the neighboring country and its demand for imported goods, as well as the price fluctuation and production of rice – a key export staple of both nations.
The news updates go some ways to help local firms promptly catch up with market trends in Thailand and partly combat their fear of competitions with Thai rivals as well as gradually gain entry into the market.
Indeed, both nations share similarities in consumer culture, which experts believe would act as a catalyst to Vietnamese exports to Thailand.
Aside from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Investment and Trade Promotion Center of Ho Chi Minh City (ITPC) has implemented a number of schemes to help enterprises make sense of modern distribution channels, including those for export. Participating enterprises have been updated on know-how to make market entries and meet stringent standards set by importers.
At a workshop held by the ITPC this week, Nick Reitmeier, Executive Vice President of the Food Halls & International Buying of Central Food Retail Co., Ltd under Thailand’s Central Group, briefed representatives from 120 local businesses on standards for goods to be imported and distributed within trading systems in Thailand.
Reitmeier noted that a “Week of Vietnamese Goods in Thailand” is slated for September 18-22 at Central World, one of Thailand’s biggest shopping malls. The annual event looks to help Vietnamese firms apprise of detailed market trends and consumer needs in Thailand, as well as seek opportunities to ship their goods to the Thai market.
Exports to Thailand have soared in recent years. Vietnam racked up US$1.38 billion from exports to the neighboring country during the first quarter of 2019, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.
In 2018, exports to Thailand brought home more than US$5.5 billion, a year on year rise of 14.79 per cent. In 2017, the figure reached US$4.8 billion, representing an annual increase of 29 per cent.
Of note, mobile phones and components, computers, electronic items, and textile and garment products are among the exports to Thailand that have recorded high revenues.
Meanwhile, aquatic products, vegetables, cashew nuts, coffee, and pepper have managed to make inroads into Thailand. Lychees in particular has made deeper penetration into the Thai market.
Potential in exporting some kinds of fresh vegetables and fruits to Thailand remains vast, heard the ITPC workshop. These categories include star apple, avocado, and sweet potato.
Geographic proximity is another advantage that is likely to boost exports to Thailand. For instance, Vietnamese products can enjoy easy access to central Thailand via the Lao Bao border gate in Quang Tri province and the neighboring country Laos.
The Vietnamese community in Thailand is also a promising export channel as many overseas Vietnamese run supermarkets and shopping malls on their own. This serves as a facilitating factor for Vietnamese goods to enter the Thai market.
Last but not least, the increasing presence of Thai retailers in Vietnam in recent years can open up plenty of opportunities to push up exports as these firms are believed to serve as a bridge to bring Vietnamese products to their trading networks in Thailand.