|Vietnamese consumer goods are available at a supermarket in Phnom Penh
Of the total, Cambodian exports to Vietnam fetched 2.028 billion USD, up 30.7% year on year, while its imports dropped 11% to 2.736 billion USD.
September 2023 alone saw Cambodia rake in more than 185.2 million USD from exports to Vietnam, an increase of 104.5% year on year. The market also imported 286.1 million USD worth of goods from Vietnam, down 4.3% over the same period last year.
Currently, Vietnam is Cambodia’s third largest trading partner globally after China and the US, the largest trade partner in ASEAN and the second largest export market globally after the US.
Economic, trade and investment cooperation is a bright spot in bilateral relations. Trade exchanges between the two countries have grown strongly over the years, reaching more than 10.57 billion USD last year, up nearly 11% compared to 2021.
The Vietnam Trade Office in Cambodia reports that the structure of Vietnam’s export products to Cambodia is diverse, thanks to regular industry and business connections.
Some major products that Vietnam exports to Cambodia include iron and steel, fertilizer, petroleum, machinery and equipment. Vietnamese consumer goods are increasingly present in Cambodia’s sales chains.
With regard to investment, currently Vietnam has 205 valid investment projects in Cambodia with a total registered capital of 2.94 billion USD, ranking first in ASEAN and in the top 5 foreign investors in the country. Notably, Cambodia is the second largest Vietnamese investment recipient abroad.
Vietnam eyes emerging stock market status by 2025
Vietnam is working hard to have its stock market upgraded from frontier status to an emerging market by 2025.
|Illustrative image (Photo: baodautu.vn)
Vu Thi Chan Phuong, Chairwoman of the State Securities Commission of Vietnam (SSC), said that upgrading the status of the stock market is one of the major targets of the Government. The country hopes to obtain the emerging market status before 2025.
In terms of the legal framework, the 2019 Securities Law, the 2020 Investment Law, the 2020 Law on Enterprises, and the documents guiding their enforcement have created optimal conditions for investment flows, facilitated access to information in English as well as registration and opening accounts of investors, and enhanced market transparency, thus gradually meeting the criteria for market upgrade.
Aside from growing in terms of size and liquidity, Vietnam's stock market has also become increasingly transparent and healthy thanks to the stringent settlement of violations. A number of businesses have also proactively released information in English. Among them, all of those in the VN30 Index group, which measures the 30 largest stocks by market capitalisation, have disclosed information in English.
Transparent regulations improve market viability as seen in the Government’s Decree No. 155/2020/ND-CP and the Finance Ministry’s Circular No. 96/2020/TT-BTC.
In the coming time, the SSC will revise legal documents to improve the transparency and sustainability of the stock market, Phuong noted.
Lyndon Chao, a representative of the Asia Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (ASIFMA), said Vietnam is one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, posting the world’s fastest growth. It is also a beneficiary of the global supply chain diversification and a rising middle class.
He said global investors are increasing investment in Asia, and Vietnam will be an outstanding destination in the future as authorities reform the market to provide easier access to global fund managers.
| The upgrade of the stock market is expected to help Vietnam attract more foreign capital. (Photo: VNA)
Financial experts point out that MSCI and FTSE Russell, the two most important international organisations in stock market classification, still list Vietnam as a frontier market. Meanwhile, neighbouring countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines have for years been designated as emerging markets.
Many foreign investors see the value in Vietnam’s stock market and want to invest in the future here. What the country needs to do now is to keep promoting the market’s transparency and provide more favourable conditions for foreign investors, experts said.
If MSCI and FTSE Russell upgrade the stock market of Vietnam to an emerging one, billions of USD is expected to pour into Vietnamese stocks each year.
According to major international rating agencies and financial institutions, the country has made improvements and satisfied many important criteria. However, two issues still need major improvements in support of foreign investors. The improvements include the prefunding requirement and the foreign ownership limit, both of which require practical coordination among stakeholders like the State Bank of Vietnam and the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
Experts also highlighted the importance of securities companies and banks, saying the upgrade will help expand the market size considerably, so operating systems and risk management processes must be top notch to meet transaction-related requirements.
In addition, the SSC should press on with perfecting the new IT system for the stock market, diversifying and bettering the quality of products in the market to attract foreign investors, and developing products related to green growth and sustainable development.
Winners of women startup competition 2023 awarded
|PM Pham Minh Chinh (third from right) presents flowers to congratulate the Vietnam Women's Union at the ceremony in Hanoi on October 14. (Photo: VNA)
Winners of the women startup competition 2023 were awarded at a ceremony held by the Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU) Central Committee in Hanoi on October 14.
Praising the 33 projects shortlisted for the final round and the winners, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh highly valued the VWU’s fruitful implementation of the plan on supporting women to start businesses, which he said has substantially contributed to the nationwide startup movement, gender equality, and comprehensive and sustainable national development.
He emphasised women’s enormous dedications to national construction and safeguarding throughout history, and that entrepreneurship and innovation are important impetuses for the development of each country.
Over the recent past, the Party and State have issued and effectively implemented many policies and mechanisms to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation. Women, who account for more than 50% of the population and nearly 48% of the workforce in the country, have been given special attention and favourable conditions, he noted.
Women’s contributions via startups have greatly helped with not only national economic development but also the settlement of social issues, political and social stability, and improvement of people’s material and spiritual lives, according to the Government leader.
PM Chinh applauded the theme of the 2023 competition, which focuses on the capitalisation of native resources to encourage entrepreneurship among women as well as the preservation and promotion of traditional culture to create new products and services, minimise environmental impact, and create job opportunities for local communities.
|PM Pham Minh Chinh (third from right) and officials launch the women startup competition 2024 at the ceremony in Hanoi on October 14. (Photo: VNA)
He said that he is impressed with women’s bold startup ideas and efforts to revive traditional crafts, optimise their hometowns’ tourism resources, and make use of all the things blessed by nature from bamboo, rice to herbal plants to create high-value products deeply imbued with Vietnam’s cultural identities.
The PM voiced his respect for remarkable efforts by the women in mountainous and ethnic minority areas, disabled ones, or those with disadvantages to show their strong entrepreneurial spirit.
As the startup ecosystem in Vietnam has yet to live up to its potential or keep up with others in the region and the world, women still encounter an array of difficulties for starting businesses, and the country is facing global economic “headwinds”, women should make stronger efforts by themselves. Besides, the Government, ministries, sectors, localities, VWU units at all level, domestic and foreign enterprises also need to support and create conditions for women in this regard, PM Chinh pointed out.
VWU President Ha Thi Nga said the VWU had proposed and been assigned by the PM to chair the implementation of the plan on supporting women to start businesses during 2017 - 2025.
Over the last six years, more than 80,000 business ideas of women have received assistance, over 70,000 women started their businesses, nearly 5,000 women-managed cooperative groups and cooperatives been set up, and over 60,000 newly-established firms of women given advice to improve capacity and gaining access to resources for development.
The annual women startup competition is an outstanding activity in this plan, attracting the participation of women across the country, she said, adding that this year’s competition received 2,024 entries, 53.8% of which are in the form of cooperatives or cooperative groups.
At the ceremony, PM Chinh and VWU leaders presented awards to winners and insignia to the 33 shortlisted entries./.