"Although the economic cooperation between Vietnam and Chile has seen significant development, it is still far from the potential and desire between the two sides due to many barriers." This is the statement made by Mr Nguyen The Hung, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ho Chi Minh City Branch (VCCI – HCM), at the seminar "Introduction to the Chilean market potential." The seminar was jointly held by VCCI – HCM in collaboration with the Embassy of Chile in Vietnam.
Mr Hung said that in the past few years, two-way trade between Vietnam and Chile has seen steady growth and contributed to creating favourable platform for investors, importers and exporters to actively participate in the market of the two countries. Within the last three years, from trade deficit from Chile's market, the balance of bilateral trade between the two countries has gradually turned back into balance. Currently, Chile is the country with the second highest commercial revenue in Latin America. More importantly, Chile established a free trade area with Vietnam, so the trade relations between the two countries will have more opportunities to further develop. In particular, the free trade agreement between Vietnam and Chile officially came into effect in January 1st 2014, which will reinforce and further promote bilateral relations between the two countries, specifically in trade and investment cooperation.
Mr Nguyen Thanh Quang, a representative from the Chilean Consulate General's Trade Office in Ho Chi Minh City, said the advantage of Chile's market lies in political stability, high purchasing power, and open, transparent investment and business environment. According to the WTO, Chile ranks 22nd out of 145 countries with the best business environment and 7th out of 178 with free economy. According to Mr Quang, Vietnamese enterprises can take advantage of investment opportunities in Chile in some areas of potential exploitation such as agricultural products, forestry and forest plantation, services, mining and metallurgy.
Answering concern of Vietnamese businesses about the barriers faced when entering the Chilean market including geographical distance, differences in language used in commercial transaction, lack of each other's market information, Mr Quang said that the Chilean Embassy in Vietnam would further enhance activities supporting Vietnamese enterprises to get updated market information and business and investment opportunities with the Chilean market. In the foreseeable future of 2015, the Embassy, in cooperation with VCCI, will launch several commercial promotion programmes in order to connect business communities of the two countries.
In recent years, two-way trade between Vietnam and Chile has seen stable growth. In 2013, the total two-way trade turnover between Vietnam and Chile reached US$534 million, of which the value of exports from Vietnam reaching nearly US$220 million and the value of imports from the Chilean market over US$315 million. Particularly, in the first 10 months of 2014, the total two-way trade turnover grew rapidly, reaching over US$712 million.