Thailand is now the largest trade partner of Vietnam in the ASEAN, and the ninth biggest foreign investor of the country (ranking ninth among 135 countries and territories having investments in Vietnam).
As of the end of May 2020, Thailand’s total investment capital in Vietnam had amounted to $12.3 billion through 571 projects. Despite the impact of COVID-19, bilateral trade between the two countries reached $6.2 billion in the first five months of 2020 alone, equal to the performance in 2019.
Regarding the retail sector, the Vietnamese market has attracted quite a few major Thai investors operating hypermarkets, convenience stores, shopping malls and supermarkets, including TCC Group with the brands of MM Mega Market and B’s mart.
|The Vietnamese market attracts quite a few major Thai investors operating hypermarkets, convenience stores, shopping malls, and supermarkets |
Talking about the strong Thai investment in the Vietnamese retail market, an economic expert said that Vietnam is on a similar development path to Thailand a few decades ago, with fast economic growth and a rising middle class. In addition, the young population, strongly increasing consumption, and zero tariffs on many commodities have turned Vietnam into a large market in ASEAN.
Despite COVID-19, in the first months of 2020 bilateral trading activities were maintained. With the pandemic essentially under control, trading activities between the two countries are bustling again. One of these activities was the Mini Thailand Week 2020 held by the Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) under the Ministry of Commerce of Thailand in Can Tho city in July to boost bilateral economic relations, helping to fuel the economic growth of the two countries post-pandemic.
|The young population, strongly increasing consumption, and zero tariffs on many commodities have turned Vietnam into a large market in ASEAN. |
Furthermore, the strong participation of big Thai enterprises in Vietnam has propelled bilateral trade between the two countries. Recently, MM Mega Market Vietnam Co., Ltd. (under TCC Group) has organised the “Colours of Thai in Vietnam” programme in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, offering Vietnamese consumers an intriguing experience of the culture and quality goods from Thailand.
Enterprises keen on bridging trade
Talking about the organisation of this sizeable event, Tran Kim Nga, Corporate Development director of MM Mega Market Vietnam said, “MM Mega Market is in the investment portfolio of TCC Group in Vietnam and is one of the leading modern distribution networks of the country. With a commitment to develop sustainably and operate long-term in Vietnam, we are committed to act as a two-way trade bridge between Vietnam and Thailand and organise diverse cultural exchange activities between our two countries.”
The “Colours of Thai in Vietnam” event lured thousands of visitors to come and enjoy the ambiance of Loy Krathong lantern release festival and Thai specialties. During the event, which lasted from October 29 to November 11, hundreds of high-quality products made in Thailand such as food and beverages, household utensils, and home appliances were available at over 20 MM Mega Market supermarkets, offering a chance for Vietnamese consumers throughout the country to buy Thai goods.
|The “Colours of Thai in Vietnam” event is one of many activities that MM Mega Market organised to accelerating the ties between Thailand and Vietnam |
At the event, Consul General of the Kingdom of Thailand in Ho Chi Minh City Apirat Sugondhabhirom highly valued the contribution of MM Mega Market to boosting the economic and cultural relations between the two countries. “MM Mega Market has contributed a great deal to accelerating the ties between Thailand and Vietnam, not only in commerce and investment, but also in culture,” he said.
Not only bringing high-quality Thai goods into Vietnam to meet the increasing demand of local consumers, MM Mega Market is also one of the Thai businesses acting as a bridge for Vietnamese agricultural products to enter the Thai market. Since early 2018, the company has imported Vietnamese farm produce for distribution at its network of nearly 1,000 Big C supermarkets in Thailand.
At the end of 2019, MM Mega Market joined hands with the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Industry and Trade to organise the Vietnamese Goods Week at BJC/TCC distribution channel in Bangkok, Thailand.
The event helped Vietnamese enterprises to advertise their products, seek trade links, expand market, and study consumption needs and purchasing power from Thai distributors.
Despite COVID-19 implications, with the close co-operation and active engagement of the organisations and enterprises of the two countries, Thai-Vietnamese bilateral trade is expected to rebound and forge ahead in the coming time.