Malaysia-Vietnam bilateral trade is expected to continue the positive trend this year after recording double-digit growth last year, said Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Ir Hamim Samuri.
He said last year, Malaysia’s total trade with Vietnam grew 25.27 per cent to US$9.03 billion to become the Indochinese country’s third largest trade partner in Asean.
Last year, Malaysia’s exports to Vietnam amounted to US$3.82 billion while imports totalled US$5.2 billion.
“Malaysia-Vietnam bilateral trade looks very positive and is expected to be on the uptrend this year,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the Malaysia-Vietnam Business Forum here Friday.
Also present were Vietnam Vice State President Nguyen Thi Dzoan, Vietnam Ambassador to Malaysia Nguyen Hong Thao, and National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (NCCIM) Secretary-General Datuk Syed Hussein Al Habshee.
Hamim said Malaysia was also the fifth largest investor in Vietnam with a total of 428 projects worth US$0. billion.
He said a significant portion of the investments covered a variety of sectors which included wholesale and retail, banking, manufacturing, construction, transport and telecommunications.
However, he said Malaysian and Vietnamese companies must look into the opportunities in the services sector as both countries continued to liberalise the sector which allows for higher equity ownership.
He said Malaysian companies must take note that Vietnam allows full equity ownership in franchising, hospital services, construction and engineering related services.
Meanwhile, he said Vietnamese investors should acknowledge that Malaysia also permits 00 per cent equity ownership in many services sectors.
He also encouraged the Vietnamese business community to engage their Malaysian counterparts to explore possibilities for collaborative ventures and to establish new business alliances.
He added that the Malaysian government is committed to make the Malaysia-Vietnam relationship more dynamic and mutually beneficial.