Vietnamese enterprises seek opportunities in Czech market

(VOVworld) – Trade relations between Vietnam and the Czech Republic have been enhanced since 2012 when Vietnam was listed as one of 12 priority markets in Czech’s national export strategy until 2020. Businesses of both nations have increased cooperation in trade and investment, particularly in exports of garments, textiles, and footwear.

Vietnamese enterprises seek opportunities in Czech market - ảnh 1
Czech President Miloš Zeman holds talk with President Truong Tan Sang.
(Photo: Nguyen Khang/VNA)

In the last 5 years, trade turnover between Vietnam and the Czech Republic has doubled in value. Last year trade revenues totaled 652 million USD—85 million USD in Czech exports to Vietnam and 567 million USD in imports from Vietnam.

The Czech Republic has undertaken 36 projects in Vietnam, ranking 42nd among 101 countries and territories which have investments in Vietnam. It has regularly attended international conferences of donors to Vietnam and is the first East European country to provide official development assistance to Vietnam.

Despite these economic and trade achievements, cooperation has been modest compared with the two countries’ potential.

Truong Manh Son, Vietnamese Ambassador to the Czech Republic, has called on the two ministries of trade and industry to increase communications and links between the two business communities to help Czech enterprises do business or open representative offices in Vietnam and form joint-ventures with Vietnamese partners.

As a gateway to Europe, the Czech market is currently a primary target for small and medium-sized Vietnamese enterprises, particularly in the garment, textile, and footwear sectors, according to Le Hong Thang, Director of the Hanoi Department of Trade and Industry.

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Garments and textiles is an item Vietnam has high export revenue to the Czech Republic.

Thang said that “trade promotion in markets in Eastern Europe offers the shortest way to the EU market. Once we conquer the Czech market, an outlying EU market with 90 million people who like Vietnamese products and their prices, we’ll expand in the area.”

Thang noted that one advantage Vietnamese enterprises have is that consumers in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, and Poland are already very familiar with Vietnamese brands of garments, textiles, and footwear products.

Tran Thi Minh Thu, a member of the executive board of the Hanoi Leather and Footwear Association, said Vietnamese firms can compete and win the trust of Czech consumers.

According to Thu, “with restricted capacity in self production and purchasing of semi-finished materials, Vietnamese leather and shoes makers will have to face fiercer competition in the market. But compared to the products made by those who are doing business in the Czech market, we are strongly confident in vying there.”

In 2013, the Czech government officially recognized the Vietnamese community of more than 60,000 people as an ethnic minority group there, acknowledging their contributions to local socio-economic development.