MOIT VIETNAM | Vietnam - Laos trade relations are becoming more and more substantive


In the first five months of 2021, the total bilateral trade turnover reached US$570.7 million, up 39.3% over the same period in 2020. In which, Vietnam's exports to Laos reached US$280.3 million, up 23.5% over the same period in 2020. Vietnam's imports from Laos reached $290.4 million, up 58.9% over the same period in 2020.

The visit to Vietnam by H.E. Thongloun Sisoulith, the General Secretary, President of Laos from 28th to 29th June, 2021 is an important external event of the two countries Vietnam and Laos. This is the first foreign visit of H.E. Thongloun Sisoulith as General Secretary, President of Laos for the 2021-2026 term, contributing to affirming the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Laos.

Over the past time, the special friendship relationship between Vietnam and Laos has been continuously strengthened, developed and achieved many achievements in all fields, bringing real benefits to the peoples of Vietnam and Laos. Especially, in term of trade, the cooperation relationship between the two countries has always developed in a positive direction, becoming more and more substantive and in-depth.

In the 2016-2020 period, trade turnover has grown steadily, up to now, it has reached the standard of over 1 billion USD/year and the list of goods exchanged between the two countries is increasingly diversified. In 2020, due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the impact of natural disasters and floods, as well as the blockade and social distancing measures, trade activities between the two countries faced with number of obstacles and difficulties. However, trade between the two countries grew strongly again in the first months of 2021. By the end of the first 5 months of 2021, trade turnover between Vietnam and Laos reached 570.7 million USD, up 39.3% compared to the same period in 2020, an increase of 16.7% over the same period in 2019 (before the Covid-19 pandemic). In which, Vietnam's export turnover to Laos reached $ 280.3 million, an increase of 23.5% over the same period in 2020. Vietnam's export turnover from Laos reached $ 290.4 million, an increase of 58. 9% compared to the same period in 2020. This is the result of the political decision of the two countries' senior leaders, the direction of the relevant authorities, creating favorable conditions for businesses of the two countries to quickly adapt to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In order to take advantage and promote development opportunities as well as to overcome difficulties and challenges, especially the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, Vietnamese businesses need to improve their initiative to exploit all the advantages of exporting to Laos, increasing the export scale.

Firstly, businesses need to determine the importance of the Lao market, identify the potentials and advantages of Vietnamese businesses that can exploit when entering this market to have a suitable business strategy. Based on the very good political-diplomatic relationship with Vietnam, the Lao Government strongly supports and creates favorable conditions for Vietnamese enterprises to participate in the investment and business process in Laos. With 8 pairs of international border gates, 7 pairs of main border gates and 18 pairs of secondary border gates, the trade activities as well as travel, import and export of goods between Vietnam and Laos are very favorable.

Secondly, enterprises need to take advantage of the investment wave from Vietnam to Laos to increase the scale of exports. Currently, Vietnam is the third largest investor in Laos; Laos is the largest recipient of overseas investment of Vietnamese enterprises. Major investment projects focus on energy industry, banking, industrial crops, garment...

Thirdly, in the current context, it is necessary to strengthen linkages, forming production and supply chains and building brands of Vietnamese goods in Laos, creating a strong foothold for Vietnamese goods in Lao market. In the immediate future, Vietnamese enterprises can coordinate with Lao partner to build supply chains for products that the two countries have advantages such as exploitation, processing and export of wood and wood products; manufacturing and exporting rubber, coffee, cashew nuts, textile products.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam always accompanies Vietnamese businesses in finding and expanding markets for Vietnamese goods. Together with provinces sharing a border with Laos, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has been closely coordinating with relevant agencies to ensure smooth border trade activities and trade between the two countries effectively, benefiting businesses and contributing to the growth of trade between Vietnam and Laos.