Building on agreement reached during the visit to Yangon of prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung in April, and fresh from a business matching meeting held at Yangon's Park Royal Hotel on June 21, Vietnam's ambassador Chu Cong Phung confirmed again on June 23 Vietnam's willingness to get down to work here.

His country wants to invest in agriculture, motor vehicle production, banking, construction, and livestock and fisheries.

Vietnamese companies Vinamotor and Vinaxuki will invest in assembling buses and light trucks, using engines and other parts imported from Vietnam, in factories to be located in Yangon.

The two companies have already applied for permission to the Myanmar Investment Commission and are seeking partners through the Ministry of Industry (2).

They want to share their technology and hope local demand for motor vehicles will grow, said Phung.

Government-owned Vietnam Rubber Corporation and Ho Chi Minh Volunteers' Youth and private company Hoang Anh Gai Lai are looking to cultivate 200,000 acres of rubber.

Later this month they will conduct a feasibility study in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation with a view to an eventual joint venture.

"The Myanmar government welcomes, and the Vietnamese government encourages, investment. Myanmar has extensive land available for cultivation. Vietnam has no room for rubber plantations, and wants to invest here," said Phung.

Vietnam has also expressed interest in land for rice cultivation.

The Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam, which opened an office in Yangon in April, is looking to take advantage of opportunities after the elections later this year, and has applied to set up a development and investment company.

Vietnam is also eyeing the travel and property sectors as potential investments, as well as fisheries, with a particular interest in sturgeon and prawn breeding.

Fellow Asean members Myanmar and Vietnam enjoy good relations and share similarities in history, culture and religion. Vietnam has also suffered in the past from a boycott by Western countries. "Now Vietnam wants to share its experience with Myanmar to become a developed country," he added.

Vietnam has invested a total of $6 billion in Cambodia and Laos.

"In Myanmar, we want to invest more," said Phung.

In the 2008-2009 financial year, Vietnam invested $20 million in Myanmar, according to the Central Statistical Organisation of the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development.

"With foreign investment, we can get capital and advanced technologies, as well as job opportunities, exposure and experience," said Dr Maung Maung Lay, secretary general of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

"Both sides profit. The Vietnamese government provides incentives to businesspeople who invest outside the country.

Myanmar will get new markets and market share and an ally in the international arena."

Myanmar Times - July 6, 2010