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7 – 9 December 2016
On 7th-9th December 2016, The Asean Business Club (ABC) and Kuala Lumpur Business Club (KLBC) led a high-level delegation for a joint business mission to Hanoi to explore trade and investment opportunities in Vietnam. The business mission was received by the President of Vietnam, H.E. Tran Dai Quang, and the Prime Minister of Vietnam, H.E. Nguyen Xuan Phuc and other cabinet ministers.
The successful visit provided the participants a platform for continuous discourse and dialogue on business matters. In partnership with ABC and KLBC, Ministry of International Trade and Industry of Malaysia hosted an exclusive roundtable discussion to explore business opportunities and strengthen cooperation between Vietnam and ASEAN. At the roundtable, officials and company executives spoke about the need to raise investment while Tan Sri Munir Majid, President of ABC, urged for the listing of major regional infrastructure projects to boost liquidity, simultaneously stimulating foreign direct investment that would allow for better trade relations between Malaysia and Vietnam.
At the meeting, Malaysian and Vietnamese officials said both countries should also look at opportunities in sectors such as energy and food processing to achieve their trade targets within the regional economic pact framework. “With a young and IT-savvy demographics and low wages, Vietnam is not only an attractive trading post but also a highly competitive gateway to the Mekong markets,” said Tan Sri Dr. Munir Majid added.
“We can help each other since we are members of the ASEAN Economic Community,” Do Thang Hai, Vietnam’s Deputy Industry and Trade Minister said, referring to the regional pact that took effect in 2016 to facilitate better movement of goods, services, and people. Mustapa Mohamed, Malaysia’s Minister of International Trade and Industry called on both countries to up their game. “We have to leverage on working as a team — both the public and private sectors,” Mustapa told reporters.
Malaysia is the seventh largest source of foreign direct investment in Vietnam, with a total in place of $12 billion in September. “Vietnam is brimming with potential and is poised to be a great growth story over the next decade. With entities like KLBC, ABC and now CIMB Vietnam as business facilitators in this country, we are confident that trade and investment between Vietnam and other ASEAN countries will increase, strengthening ASEAN’s profile as an attractive trading partner for the rest of the world,” remarked Tengku Dato’ Sri Zafrul Aziz, President of KLBC and Group Chief Executive, CIMB Group. The Malaysian banker sees a lot of potential in Vietnam with its growing population. He described the country that has a GDP that has been growing at an average of 6.6% between 2000 and September 2016, with an inflation stable at about 3%, as the “next Asian tiger” — following in the footsteps of Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.
The high level delegation that participated in the two-day visit to Vietnam comprised of over 30 leading corporations from ASEAN, particularly Malaysia, such as CIMB Group, AirAsia, Brunsfield, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Sapura Resources Berhad, AGC Asia Pacific, Tan Chong Group, ZicoLaw and Phongsavanh Bank Limited. The delegation also called on H.E. Tran Tuan Anh, Minister of Industry and Trade, as well as H.E. Nguyen Vam Trung, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment in Vietnam.
The business mission ended with CIMB Group’s hosting of the delegates at the CIMB International Advisory Panel Gala Diner, with over 150 high-profile guests including members of the delegation, ASEAN ministers, local business leaders and public officials attending the dinner.