Posted on September 9, 2013, Monday

HANOI: Malaysia-Vietnam diplomatic ties for the past 40 years, which have opened up vast opportunities in investment and trade for the people of the two countries, are expected to grow strongly in the future.

Malaysian Ambassador to Vietnam, Datuk Azmil Mohd Zabidi, said Vietnam, a producer of raw materials and strong in the manufacturing sector, has attracted  US$20 billion in investments from Malaysia for the past twenty years.

“When I was appointed envoy in 2011, the total two-way trade was only US$6.6 billion a year and I expected it to increase in order that the two nations will benefit from the close bilateral ties.

“The efforts to further boost the close bilateral ties and investor confidence in Vietnam have helped increase the trade by over 50 per cent, or about US$9 billion in 2012 within two years only,” he told reporters here.

Azmil said this when met during the four-day visit of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Hajah Haminah to Vietnam starting Thursday.

He said to-date, about 400 Malaysian companies were involved in business in Vietnam, with most of them in real estate sector, which offered good prospects.

Vietnam, with a population of 90 million, offered vast investment opportunities for companies to expand and reap long-term profits.

“Malaysia is currently the biggest foreign investor in Ho Chi Minh City, especially in real estate. The city, well-known as the shopping paradise, attracts a lot of tourists and this helps to boost its economy,” he said.

On tourism, Azmil said last year, over 400,000 Malaysians visited Vietnam compared to over 200,000 Vietnamese visitng Malaysia.

“Most Malaysian tourists flocked to Ho Chi Minh City, which is only an hour’s flight from Kuala Lumpur. Some just come for a day to shop and return home,” he said. Azmil said Malaysian companies seeking to recruit workers should consider the Vietnamese as the Viet government was actively training its people in certain skills before sending them overseas. 

He said the workers were trained for work in the manufacturing and plantation sectors.
“About 20,000 of them are now in Malaysia and it is hoped that the number will be increased in future,” he said. 

Vietnam, he said, has shown keen interest to boost cooperation in palm oil cultivation following the visit by Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Datuk Seri Douglas Unggah Embas, two months ago. 

“This cooperation in this sector is expected to attract more investors as the venture is expected to reap high returns,” he said.

The visit by Tuanku Abdul Halim and Tuanku Hajah Haminah to Vietnam was in conjunction with the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the two countries. — Bernama

Source: Bloomberg