Energy, high-tech agriculture and information technology are the new investment fields discussed at the Viet Nam-Hungary Business Forum held within the framework of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s visit to Viet Nam.
Hungarian business representatives expressed interest in varied investments in Viet Nam, ranging from bio-fungicides for agriculture to transmission lines protection.
Jamniczky Zsolt, representative of Hungary’s E.ON company, said his company looks forward to exploring the Vietnamese market for investment and cooperation opportunities in energy production and equipment, especially of solar power.
Total bilateral trade turnover between the two countries reached US$266 million in 2016, up 35.7 per cent from 2015. Viet Nam’s exports to Hungary reached $93 million, a 41 per cent increase, including textiles and garments, footwear, computers, electronic components, transportation vehicles and spare parts. Viet Nam’s main imports from Hungary include pharmaceutical products, machinery, spare parts, chemicals, and animal feed.
Computers, electronic products and components make up a major part of the total traded value at nearly $20.6 million, accounting for 40.7 per cent of total exports. Automobiles and accessories account for 3.9 per cent of bilateral trade, reaching nearly $2 million, albeit down by 13.3 per cent from 2015. Textile and garment products are new additions to the list of exports to Hungary, reaching over $1 million, followed by the footwear segment at $0.3 million, a sharp increase of 106 per cent year on year.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, trade turnover in the first six months of 2017 between the two countries reached $145 million, up by more than 60 per cent from the same period last year.
In terms of investment, Hungary has installed 15 valid foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in Viet Nam with a total registered capital of $50.66 million, ranking 55th among 105 countries and territories with direct investment in the country.
Nonetheless, Nguyen Dang Bela, a Hungarian-Vietnamese businessman with many years experince in high-tech agriculture, said at the forum that the biggest difficulty of joint ventures between Viet Nam and Hungary is the lack of established brand names in foreign markets.
At the moment, the majority of Vietnamese products, such as coffee, sold in supermarkets in Hungary are not traded under the brand name of any Vietnamese company, which does not satisfy Hungarian consumers’ demand for Vietnamese trademarked goods and needs improving at the earliest, said Bela.
The forum’s discussion was attended by representatives of 50 leading Hungarian enterprises in the fields of agriculture and agricultural mechanical engineering, agri-food processing, agricultural waste treatment, medical healthcare, information technology, banking, architecture, and construction.
It was organised by the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), the Hungary Trade House, and the Hungarian Embassy in Ha Noi.