VIETNAM is stepping up its investment in Myanmar, with a number of project agreements signed during a business matching session last week.
The meet was held at the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) at Min Ye Kyaw Swar Road in Yangon's Lanmadaw township and included about 80 participants from Vietnam.
The meet attracted 82 delegates from the Association of Vietnamese Business Investors in Myanmar (AVIM), representing 33 companies involved in telecommunications, education services, oil and gas, manufacturing, rubber, electronics, construction materials, foodstuffs, automobiles, agro-based products, mining and tourism.
Vietnam's deputy Prime Minister, Mr Hoang Trung Hai, said Vietnamese companies have signed agreements totaling US$600 million since the start of 2010, adding, "There will be more Vietnam business to come."
By March 31 this year Vietnamese companies had spent $34 million in foreign direct investment projects, said Mr Chu Cong Phung, Vietnam's ambassador to Myanmar.
He added that another $500 million was on its way.
"I would say that there are many Vietnamese businesses that are very interested in investing in Myanmar. Some projects have been submitted to Myanmar's authorities for investment licenses but unfortunately they have not been granted permission yet," an official at Vietnam's embassy in Yangon said.
"We hope that in the near future some projects will be approved and FDI from Vietnam into Myanmar will increase rapidly," he added.
Three agreements were signed during the June 12 business matching session including one between AVIM and UMFCCI, Bac Viet Steel Group and Golden Wealth, and Universal Link Services and Golden Export Import Consultancy and Trade.
Trade between Vietnam and Myanmar was worth about $114 million in the 2010-11 financial year, with Myanmar exporting agricultural, forestry and fisheries goods worth about $67 million to Vietnam and importing $47 million in machinery, construction materials and pharmaceutical products in return, according to Ministry of Commerce figures.
The 2010-11 figures represented a near-40pc jump on the $81 million in trade recorded during the previous year, the Vietnamese embassy official said.