Representatives from almost 100 Thai and Vietnamese businesses gathered in Bangkok on August 27 to share their experiences in developing human resources and to get a more accurate assessment of the investment climate in both countries.

In his opening speech at the workshop, Vietnamese Ambassador to Thailand Ngo Duc Thang said that the event was a joint initiative between both countries to promote human resources and seek out opportunities for business and investment.

The increase in bilateral cooperation and investment is expected to expand economic links along the East-West Economic Corridor (EWEC), which will in turn help with the building of the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015, added Thang.

Yanyong Phuangrach from Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce said that both countries have seen a sharp rise in bilateral trade in recent years, with Thailand now ranking the third largest ASEAN country to invest in Vietnam .

In 2011, two-way trade rose to 9.5 billion USD, up from 3.6 billion USD in 2006. Over the years Thailand has injected 6.7 billion USD into projects in Vietnam, while Vietnam has 56 investment projects in Thailand , mainly in aquaculture, tourism and construction.

The participants were given a presentation on Thailand’s investment policies as well as the country’s investment activities in Vietnam, by Vasana Mututanont, Vice Secretary General of Thailand ’s Investment Committee.

To Hoai Nam, Vice Chairman and Secretary General of Vietnam’s Association of Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises, gave a briefing on the incentives that Vietnam offers investors from abroad, saying that they allow investors a great deal of protection.

In 2011, Vietnam and Thailand recorded a bilateral trade growth of 37 percent, of which Vietnam ’s exports increased by 51 percent and its imports by 17 percent over the previous year.

Along with bilateral cooperation, both countries have strong ties within various regional and international frameworks and forums, particularly ASEAN, the Greater Mekong Sub-region and the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS).-VNA