Vietnam, China should establish transnational e-commerce floor for agro-products: official

THOAI TRAN/TTN – UPDATED : 06/28/2015 16:45 GMT + 7

A transnational e-commerce floor for agro-product trade between Vietnam and China will benefit both sellers and buyers in the two countries, a Chinese trade official said at a recent workshop in Ho Chi Minh City.

The electronic platform will enable more Vietnamese fisheries and agricultural products to get access to the 1.36 billion-strong market more quickly and prevent trade fraud, said Li Zhenmin, commercial and economic counselor at the Chinese Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City.

“We should take advantage of the Internet to provide more transparent market information for the enterprises of the two nations,” Li said at the “Enhance Business Cooperation and Boost Exports to the Chinese Market” workshop held Friday by the Ho Chi Minh City branch of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“Cooperation between Chinese and Vietnamese enterprises are getting closer, but it is still far to reach their full potential, as Chinese importers are not fully informed of the Vietnamese market while Vietnamese exporters will find it hard to get information on competent and reliable Chinese importers,” Li said.

Regarding the fact many trade frauds have been conducted by Chinese traders in Vietnam over the past years, Li said it is due to the information gap making people involved in trade deals know very little about their partners, and this gap needs to be bridged via the e-commerce floor.

Cooperation and exchange of information between competent authorities of the two countries are needed to solve these problems, he said.

Miao Ren Lai, vice president of the China Business Association in Vietnam, said an e-trading floor will be immediately established in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho to help encourage the consumption of agricultural products, while enhancing the role of suppliers and providing information for partners.

Can Tho is the largest city in the delta, a region with an abundance of agro-products.

“For years, Chinese traders who buy ago-products at many sites across Vietnam have been mainly small individual traders,” Miao said.

“The Chinese market has a population of 1.36 billion people and 400 million Internet users, so it is much better for Vietnamese traders to approach a larger proportion of Chinese consumers through the e-commerce platform,” he added.

Chinese authorities are ready to cooperate with their Vietnamese counterparts to set up hotlines to resolve any problems that may arise, including the monitoring and testing of export products, and they should also meet regularly to exchange information in order to find effective measures to jointly promote bilateral economic and trade development, Li said.

As planned, in the next five years, China will import more than US$10 trillion worth of goods and materials from around the world, while its outbound investment will reach $500 billion.

The two goals of China in trading and investing will be a great commercial opportunity for enterprises in the Asia – Pacific region, including Vietnam.

It is expected that two-way trade between Vietnam and China will top $100 billion this year, enabling Hanoi to become the second largest trade partner of Beijing in the Southeast Asian region.

China’s imports from Vietnam have seen annual average growth of 15-20 percent in recent years, a relatively high rate, Li said, citing figures from the Chinese Customs.

Last year, the total export-import turnover of the two countries hit $58.7 billion, an increase of 16.5 percent compared to the same period of 2013, according to Nguyen The Hung, deputy director of the Ho Chi Minh City branch of the VCCI.

In 2014 Vietnam posted $14.9 billion in exports to China, up 11.8 percent, while imports were worth $43.8 billion, a rise of 18.2 percent, which all led to a $28.9 billion trade deficit.

In the first five months of this year, Vietnamese exports to China reached $6.1 billion, a drop of 1.2 percent year on year.

Meanwhile, Vietnam’s imports from China were worth $15.9 billion, a year-on-year surge of 19.1 percent.

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