Vietnamese companies should consider Indonesia a high-potential export destination and find niche markets to exploit in this country, an industry insider say.

A Thoi Bao Kinh Te Vietnam (Vietnam Economic Times) report on August 26 quoted Vu Kim Hanh, chairwoman of the Vietnamese High-Quality Goods Producers' Association, as saying so.

She added that a few major Vietnamese companies like Vinamit, Nhon Hoa Scales and Trung Nguyen Coffee have already found success in Indonesia .

This was a good sign for Vietnamese companies, she said.

However, she also said that local firms should act with a sense of urgency or risk losing the opportunity to competitors from other countries.

Concurring with Hanh, Nguyen Tuan Quynh, deputy chairman of the HCM City Association of Young Entrepreneurs, noted that Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world and set to become one of the 10 biggest global economies by 2015.

Vietnamese companies should therefore study the market carefully and expand operations into the fellow ASEAN member nation, he said.

Agriculture is one of many potential sectors that Vietnamese companies must explore in Indonesia , participants said at conference last week.

A representative of the Industrial and Agricultural Machinery Company, Bui Van Ngo, said that they have successfully sold agriculture machinery to Indonesia .

He said Vietnamese companies should offer agriculture consult-ancy services in the country.

Indonesia also has potential to consume food products from Vietnam as the two peoples have similar tastes.

Currently, the Pho 24 restaurant chain has established around 15 outlets in the country.

Hanh said Vietnamese companies must study the model of food chains to establish these in foreign countries, including Indonesia . This will, in turn, help producers of spices and other ingredients, she said.

A report presented by the General Department of Customs at the conference said trade turnover between the two countries has developed significantly in recent years.

It increased from 2.5 billion USD in 2008 to 4.6 billion USD in 2012 and is expected to reach 5 billion USD before 2015 and 10 billion USD by 2018.

Exports from Vietnam to Indonesia in 2012 topped 2.3 billion USD, about 50 percent of the bilateral trade turnover that year.

In the first seven months of this year, the department said, export turnover to Indonesia reached nearly 1.3 billion USD.

Products with high export value to Indonesia are vegetables and fruits, coffee, rice, petrol, mechanical products, garments, steel, telephone, electronic items and spare parts.-VNA