Vietnam’s rising numbers of middle-income people and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, a hoped-for magnet for foreign direct investment (FDI) and export driver, will provide opportunities for Bangkok Bank’s operations in the country, a local newspaper reported.

The bank expects its lending to see double-digit growth from rising FDI, stabilisation of the local currency and higher incomes, the English-language newspaper The Nation quoted Tharabodee Serng-Adichaiwit, senior Vice President and General Manager of Bangkok Bank's Vietnamese operations, as saying.

Tharabodee said Vietnam’s gross domestic product is expected to expand by 5-6 percent this year thanks to export growth of 20-30 percent, valued at around 13 billion USD a month.

In addition, participating in the TPP negotiations would help strengthen the Vietnamese economy in the long run, especially exports of garments and textile products, as Vietnam benefits from trade with the other 11 member countries, he affirmed.

With the middle-income people number in Vietnam is expected to reach 20-30 million by 2020, many Thai conglomerates have acquired businesses in the country to tap the high purchasing power in the near future.

He noted that Thailand's Berli Jucker had acquired Metro Cash & Carry Vietnam and Phu Thai Group Joint Stock Company, the former operator of Family Marts in Vietnam, to establish B's Mart convenience stores.

In the first eight months of this year, new loans by Bangkok Bank in Vietnam expanded by 10 percent, he said, adding the bank’s credits offered to foreign investors account for 90 percent of its new loans in the country.

Additionally, it will increase the focus on local small and medium-sized enterprises, accounting for 20 percent of Bangkok Bank's loan portfolio in Vietnam, while Thai companies and multinationals account for 40 percent each.-VNA