Vietnam – Hong Kong Opportunities Abound As Bilateral Trade Expands

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Hong Kong is Vietnam’s fifth largest investor with growing bilateral trade in multiple sectors

Nguyễn Văn Quân, chairman of Vietnam’s Institute for Economics and Trade Development (IETD) said there remains vast potential for cooperation between Vietnam and Hong Kong in numerous trade sectors including investment, services, finance, and logistics. He was speaking at the Vietnam-Hong Kong Business & Investment Matchmaking event held in HCMC on Monday (November 20) and said that bilateral trade between Vietnam and Hong Kong was increasing at a rate of over 10% per annum. Vietnam exported goods worth US$10 billion to Hong Kong last year and imported commodities worth US$1.78 billion from Hong Kong, up 19.8% year-on-year. Hong Kong is currently Vietnam’s fifth largest foreign investor, with 2,164 projects representing a total investment of nearly $29.5 billion, mostly in the processing and manufacturing industry, real estate, and electricity, gas and water production and distribution. Quân stated that Hong Kong is a regional transit centre and a trade and tourism hub, making it a significant market for Vietnamese food and providing ample opportunities for investment for Vietnam businesses.

Vietnam has a Free Trade Agreement with Hong Kong via the ASEAN-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement, which came into effect in 2019.

Bùi Đăng Dũng, former deputy chairman of the National Assembly’s Finance-Budget Committee, said Hong Kong’s strength as a financial and banking centre in the region could facilitate connections between Vietnam and the region, as well as with major European and North American countries, particularly in science-technology, innovation, investment cooperation, finance, trade, and logistics. Edmond Yue, of the Hong Kong General Committee of Commerce (HKGCC), said Hong Kong investors found Vietnam an attractive and vibrant market in the region thanks to its political stability, wide market, and abundant human resources.

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New Vietnam Visa Policy for Entering Hong Kong

In a related development, the recent relaxation of visa policies for Vietnamese nationals by Hong Kong is expected to open up a new period of bilateral partnership. Previously, Vietnamese citizens were only eligible for single-entry visas, enforcing a maximum stay of seven days for tourism or business activities. Under the new visa policy, Vietnamese nationals can now apply for multiple-entry visas valid for two years or more. Vietnamese Consul General in Hong Kong Phạm Bình Đàm said the new visa policy would create employment opportunities for Vietnamese labourers and businesses. “Both economies stand to benefit from increased cooperation and closer ties, complementing each other’s strengths,” he said.

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Dezan Shira & Associates maintain three offices in Vietnam and have had operations in Hong Kong since 1992. We assist foreign investors into both markets, please see our respective ‘Doing Business Guides” below. For assistance, please email vietnam@dezshira.com or hongkong@dezshira.com