Exporters told how to conquer Thai market hinh anh 1Businesses from HCM City and neighbouring provinces learn how to boost exports to the Thai market at a conference held by the HCM City Trade and Promotion Investment Centre on October 15. (Photo: VNA)

 — Vietnamese exporters need to improve the quality of their products and take advantage of online platforms to reach foreign buyers amid the pandemic, especially in Thailand, a seminar heard in Ho Chi Minh City recently.

Speaking at the event organised by the HCM City Investment and Trade Promotion Centre, Tran Phu Lu, deputy director of the centre, said Vietnam and Thailand are members of the ASEAN Economic Community, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Mekong River Commission, Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy, and Greater Mekong Subregion.

Thailand is Vietnam’s largest trading partner in Southeast Asia, with their trade accounting for 30 percent of Vietnam’s total trade with all ASEAN member countries in 2016-19, he said. 

Last year it was worth nearly 17 billion USD. 

Vietnam’s exports to Thailand account for a fifth of its total exports to the bloc. Due to the impact of the pandemic, trade between the two in the first nine months of the year fell 12.2 percent year-on-year while Vietnam’s exports declined by 11.9 percent to 3.616 billion USD.

The two countries are negotiating to sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a free trade agreement (FTA) between ASEAN and six of their FTA partners such as China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, India, Australia, and New Zealand.

Truong To Uyen, beverage purchasing director for Central Retail in Vietnam, said Vietnamese exporters should produce competitive products if they want to display them on shelves at Thailand’s Big C & Go! in Vietnam.

“To enter the supermarket system, suppliers need to meet stringent technical standards.

“The products must be of high quality; they must have the required licences and certificates; shipping conditions and product containers must comply with the requirements for each type of product.”

Products must also meet traceability and environmental protection requirements, she added.

Others said Vietnamese businesses need to step up investment, expand scale, improve the quality of their products, and be original equipment manufacturers.

Central Retail operates 35 malls and 230 stores in 39 out of Vietnam’s 63 provinces. 

On the sidelines of the conference, businesses also introduced their products to Thai businesses through an online platform.

More than 180 businesses from HCM City and neighbouring provinces participated in the event./.