Illustrative image (Source: Getty Images)
HCM City (VNA) – A Vietnam-Philippines business forum took place in Ho Chi Minh City on January 11 with more than 120 businesses from both countries taking part.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT)’s Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency Bui Thi Thanh An said two-way trade between the two countries grew 11 percent on average from 2008-2016.

In November 2015, Vietnam and the Philippines established the strategic partnership, marking a step forward to promote bilateral trade and investment.

Do Quoc Hung, Deputy Director of the MoIT’s Asia-Pacific Market Department, said the event, held concurrently with a trade seminar, affords a good chance to introduce Vietnamese firms’ capacity of manufacturing and goods supply to Filipino partners as well as facilitate business networking.

Representative from the Ho Chi Minh City Investment and Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC) Nguyen Quoc Vinh said the city hopes for Filipino investment in building elevated roads, improving water quality and developing high-tech agriculture, education and health care.

A lot of incentives are available for foreign investors to build Ho Chi Minh City into a modern economic and trade hub of the region, he said.

President of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc Angel Ngu hailed Vietnam as one of the most promising ASEAN markets of the Philippines, evidenced by the successful operation of Liwayway (Oishi) and Jollibee from the Philippines.

In the foreseeable future, the Philippines wants increasing trade in farm produce, construction materials, iron and steel, office equipment, consumer goods, leather and footwear, he said.

Two-way trade between Vietnam and the Philippines was estimated at 3.23 billion USD last year, up 10.8 percent annually, two-thirds of which was Vietnam’s exports to the Philippines, mostly farm produce, construction materials and spare parts.

Vietnam is importing machinery, office equipment and chemicals from the Philippines.

The event was co-hosted by the MoIT, ITPC and FFCCCII.-VNA