Vietnamese businesses need to the make the best of Hong Kong as a gateway for bringing their goods to other markets, said economic experts.

They also highlighted Hong Kong as a potential export market for Vietnamese goods during a recent seminar to discuss ways to boost exports to the territory.

According to Director of the Export Assistance Centre under the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency Le Xuan Duong, despite its population of more than seven million, the Hong Kong Administrative Region recorded a very high per capita income of 36,000 USD in 2012.

He said that Hong Kong primarily imports food and foodstuffs from abroad due to its shortage of cultivated land, which creates favourable conditions for the Vietnamese agricultural sector to promote exports to this lucrative market.

Its main advantages are modern transport infrastructure, low tax rates, minimal government interference in business, and well developed services for retail and wholesale trade, he added.

Experts also said that Hong Kong has the busiest airport in the world for transporting international cargo and the third busiest container port.

As an important financial and trade centre for Asia and the world, Hong Kong is considered an ideal destination for major Asia Pacific companies as well as a trade and investment gateway linking China with other countries.

A double tax avoidance agreement between Vietnam and Hong Kong that became effective on January 2010 has also helped increase Vietnamese exports to Hong Kong .

In 2012, Vietnam ranked 17 out of 30 countries with the strongest trade ties with Hong Kong, raking in 4.7 billion USD in total export-import turnover, of which Vietnam exported 3.7 billion USD, up 12 percent, and import 1 billion USD worth of goods, up 10.7 percent over a year earlier.

Key Vietnamese exports include agricultural produce, office and telecommunication equipment, computers, electronic and semi-conductor components.-VNA