Vietnam has shown its wares at two trade fairs in Myanmar, first in November, 2009, and then April. Now, following an agreement reached by the prime ministers of the two countries at Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar will return the compliment.

Myanmar companies will exhibit jewellery, wooden furniture and agricultural products such as beans and pulses, said Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) general secretary Dr Mg Mg Lay. The expo will take place from August 31 to September 6.

"We think the international expo will be more active and crowded than a single show, and our entrepreneurs will make contacts with international buyers," said U Soe Myint, a UMFCCI official, adding that 150 delegations would show off their wares in about 40 booths.

Vietnam Airlines is offering a special price for members of the Myanmar delegation, he said.

Vietnam has also invited about 30 associations under the UMFCCI to exhibit their products and activities, said U Soe Myint.

The invitation comes as Vietnamese and Myanmar firms talked business at the UMFCCI headquarters earlier this month. About 35 Vietnamese delegations were looking to make deals in aluminium products, construction materials, iron and steel production, agro-based products, food and beverages and cosmetics. Myanmar needed to learn from Vietnam's experience in achieving rapid economic development, said U Aung Lwin, the vice chair of the UMFCCI.

Direct flights between Yangon and Hanoi, established earlier this year, have helped increase trade visits and tightened economic cooperation, U Aung Lwin added.

Vietnamese companies would sell their products at a reasonable price in Myanmar in order to secure market share, delegation leader Nguyen Anh Ngoc told reporters. Nguyen is the vice director of Vietnam's Investment and Trade Promotion Centre.

"Quality is more important than quantity, and mutual benefit is more important than how many enterprises we have operating here," he said.

The Investment and Trade Promotion Centre had visited many times in the past six years to look into Myanmar market conditions, said Nguyen. Myanmar had an open market and was happy to offer cooperation, he said. Myanmar exports agricultural products, timber and marine and mineral products to Vietnam, U Aung Lwin said, and imports car spare parts, computer parts, construction materials, steel, plastics, pharmaceuticals and other chemical products.

From 2008 and 2009, bilateral trade rose from $59 million to $82 million, of which Myanmar exported $55 million worth of goodsand importe about $27 million.

Vietnam ranks 22nd out of 35 countries that invest in Myanmar, having put nearly $24 million in the oil and gas and forestry sectors.

Myanmar Times - August 26, 2010