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|PM Phuc to attend China trade expo, photo source: VGP|
At the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc will attend the country’s first International Import Exposition (CIIE) during November 4-5 in Shanghai, one of China’s most important external relations events this year.
Scheduled to take place on November 5-10, the CIIE will be co-organised by the Ministry of Commerce of China and the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce, with support from the World Trade Organization, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.
According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this event is of major importance for Vietnam. It is because the CIIE will help Vietnam further its co-operation with regional countries and maximise all benefits derived from the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area. Moreover, the CIIE will also help Vietnam boost exports to China and the ASEAN region, as well as boost the exports of ASEAN markets to China via Vietnam’s border gates. Besides, the CIIE will also help Vietnam lure more foreign direct investment, and enable domestic enterprises to seek more partners and expand export markets.
At the CIIE, Vietnam will have a national booth covering 256 square metres, showcasing the country’s potential for trade, investment, and tourism. The booth will showcase the products of 25 Vietnamese enterprises, such as TH true MILK, Vinamilk, Trung Nguyen coffee, Quang Ngai Sugar, Hapro, Cuu Long An Giang, and FPT.
More than 100 Vietnamese and Chinese companies will also partake in two joint trade promotion conferences on November 6-9 in Shanghai and Zhejiang province. Vietnam will officially open its trade promotion office in Zhejiang’s Hangzhou city. This will be Vietnam’s second office in China, with the first based in Chongqing.
The CIIE, expected to attract businesses from more than 130 nations and territories, will have more than 200,000sq.m of exhibition space, displaying six major categories, including smart technology equipment, home electronics, automobiles, accessories and consumer goods, farm produce and food, medical equipment, and healthcare products.
According to the Vietnam General Department of Customs, bilateral trade turnover between Vietnam and China has annually risen by over 20 per cent over the past five years. It hit $93.69 billion last year, up 30.2 per cent on-year.
The figure reached $85 billion in the first 10 months of this year, with Vietnam spending $52.9 billion on imports and earning $32.1 billion from exports. China remains Vietnam’s biggest importer and also its second largest export market after the US.
According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment, Chinese investment is on the increase in Vietnam. Specifically, in 2015 China had 1,284 projects in Vietnam, registered at $9.9 billion, making it the ninth-largest foreign investor.
Figures have been rising since then, to 1,555 projects registered with $10.52 billion in 2016 – lifting China to the eighth position – and 1,883 projects with $12.44 billion in 2017 – making China the seventh largest investor.
In the first 10 months of 2018, China was Vietnam’s fifth-largest foreign investor, with 296 projects registered at $787.47 billion. If stake acquisitions and capital expansion at operational projects are taken into account, total newly-registered capital from China hit $1.63 billion during the period.
As of October 20, 2018, China had 2,072 projects registered at $12.96 billion in Vietnam, making it the sixth-largest foreign investor. Currently, about 80 per cent of all engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contracts in Vietnam are awarded to Chinese contractors, accounting for 18.4 per cent of the total registered capital in the form of build-operate-transfer (BOT), build-transfer (BT), and build-transfer-operate (BTO) contracts, according to pan-Asia consulting firm Dezan Shira & Associates.
Most Chinese projects in Vietnam are of a small scale. One of the biggest investments is the $1.76 billion Vinh Tan 1 power plant in the south-central province of Binh Thuan. Other projects include the $400 million Viet Lan Tire Plant in the southern province of Tay Ninh, and the $337.5 million Vietnam-China Mining and Metallurgy project in the northern province of Lao Cai.