The central coastal region of Viet Nam has significant untapped potential as well as investment opportunities for Thai investors, speakers at a conference in Bangkok said on Friday.

The conference, coorganised by the Viet Nam Embassy to Thailand and the Board of Investment of Thailand, aimed to introduce investment opportunities from Viet Nam’s central coast, and attracted the participation of hundreds of Thai companies.

Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Hai Bang said that Thailand was now among the 10 largest investors in Viet Nam, with total registered capital of more than US$8.4 billion in around 500 projects.

However, Thai-invested projects were mainly in the northern and the southern regions of the country.

Bang said that the central coastal region boats a number of incentives to attract foreign investment together with good transportation and logistics infrastructure, which would make it easy for transportation between the region and Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor.

“Thai investors are welcomed to the central coastal region of Viet Nam,” Bang said.

Bang added that the strategic partnership between the two countries would also create favourable conditions for businesses to boost cooperation.

According to ChokdeeKeawsang, Deputy General Secretary of the Board of Investment of Thailand, Viet Nam and Thailand have large bilateral cooperation potential, adding that Viet Nam was a huge market that was increasingly attractive to Thai businesses.

He urged Thai businesses to grasp opportunities to invest in Viet Nam, especially in the central coastal region.

The Board of Investment of Thailand would open an office in Ha Noi early next year to support Thai firms looking to invest in Viet Nam, Keawsang said.

At the conference, Trinh Minh Van, Director of the Central Region Investment Promotion Centre under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, introduced the potential, business climate and investment policies of Viet Nam in general and the central region in particular to Thai investors.

Thai investments in Viet Nam were mainly in the processing and manufacturing industry, infrastructure development and agriculture.

The two countries set a target of reaching bilateral trade of $20 billion by 2020.