Edmond Yue, Co-convenor of the Belt and Road Working Group, hosted the group’s meeting on 15 June, and welcomed Pham Binh Dam, Consul General of Vietnam in Hong Kong. The Consul General updated members on the latest developments in the country and business opportunities under the Belt and Road initiative. With a huge population of over 100 million, Vietnam possesses a skilled, educated and diligent workforce ready to work hard and adapt to new challenges, he told members attending the meeting.
Many Vietnam businesses are interested in the Belt and Road and other Chinese initiatives such as the Greater Bay Area. However, Pham said, they did not have much knowledge about such initiatives, and it was hard to find an entrance point to the Mainland markets. The same applied to Hong Kong businesses looking to invest in Vietnam’s rapidly growing economy, where they would often find themselves facing vastly different business culture and rules and regulations.
He said that although there had been a 40% growth in trade between Hong Kong and Vietnam in the first quarter, the flow of capital investment was limited due to global uncertainty and lack of mutual market insight. He suggested that the Chamber organizes a few sessions about potential investment projects and mergers and acquisitions opportunities in Vietnam.
Pham added that Hong Kong investors should keep an eye on sectors such as e-commerce, infrastructure, finance, and hospitality and tourism, where huge opportunities were emerging. On the hospitality side, for example, he said many luxury hotels along the country’s 3,000-km coastline were up for sale for a lowered price due to the pandemic, which could be lucrative after renovations and branding. He said Vietnam’s e-commerce sector had also developed in leaps and bounds in the past few years – in fact, he said, e-commerce was even more developed than in Hong Kong as almost everything in Vietnam could already be done online.