YANGON: Myanmar and Vietnam are stepping up economic cooperation especially in the banking sector following the signing of a memorandum of understanding on cooperation between a state-owned Vietnamese bank and a Myanmar industrial-related bank in Yangon last weekend.
The MoU was signed between the Small and Medium Industrial Development Bank of Myanmar (SMIDB) and the Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV).
The MoU is aimed at capacity building and transfer of technology in banking sector as well as monetary and foreign exchange activities, said SMIDB, adding that Myanmar bank staff will be provided with further training in Vietnam to serve for Myanmar’s SME sector development.
On the occasion, BIDV announced provision of USD 30-million loans to SMIDB with a 4-percent interest rate for five years.
BIDV, which already has a representative office in Myanmar, is making preparation to open a formal branch in the country as soon as possible.
According to official statistics, Vietnamese investment in Myanmar amounted to USD 513.19 million as of April 2014, ranking 8th in Myanmar’s foreign investors’ line-up since Myanmar opened up to the outside world in late 1988.
Myanmar and Vietnam have vowed to step up bilateral cooperation including increased investment in Myanmar by Vietnamese entrepreneurs.
In May 2013, as part of the bilateral cooperation, a 45-member Vietnamese entrepreneurs delegation came to Myanmar and initiated a MoU with the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) on cooperation in various economic sectors.
Both sides vowed to cooperate in such economic sectors as textile, hotel and tourist, electronic and spare parts, marine products, food, oil and gas, construction materials, fruits and vegetables, agriculture, housing and sanitation.
In recent years, Vietnamese Hoang Anh Construction and Development House Joint Stock Company were involved in hotel investment in Myanmar, taking up a USD 300 million project of an international-standard hotel and housings in Yangon.
According to official statistics, bilateral trade between Myanmar and Vietnam reached USD 66 million in 2012-13 and it is expected to reach USD 500 million by 2015.
Vietnam mainly imports from Myanmar forestry products, marine products, vegetables and rubber while exports to the country iron products, machines and spare parts, plastic, textile and clothing.