Huge potential for Vietnamese-Kuwaiti cooperation

09:54 | 17/02/2014 Cooperation

(VEN) - Economic ties between Vietnam and Kuwait have recently seen important progress but it has not matched the potential and expectations of both countries according to Consul General of the State of Kuwait in Ho Chi Minh City Omar Al- Qenaei in an interview with the Vietnam Economic News on the occasion of the 53rd anniversary of the Independence Day of the State of Kuwait (25 February 1961 – 25 February 2014).

What is your evaluation of the outstanding results 38 years after the establishment of diplomatic relations between Kuwait and Vietnam?

The special cooperation between Kuwait and Vietnam began in 1976 when the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development started to provide funds for a number of infrastructure projects in Vietnam. Over the past 38 years, the relations between two sides have strongly developed by mutual visits of high rank leaders and officials.

Kuwait’s investment in the Nghi Son Oil Refinery Plant in Thanh Hoa Province is one of the bright examples of Kuwait - Vietnam economic cooperation. Kuwait contributed 35.1% to investors’ capital and committed to be a long-term crude oil supplier to the plant.

Trade relations between the two countries have also rapidly developed with acknowledgeable achievements. Preliminary statistics of Vietnam Customs showed that the two-way trade revenue reached about US$740 million in 2013.

What are the areas that need to be further exploited and promoted?

Kuwait’s oil and gas industry is developing very well. In my opinion, this is a promising area for the two side’s cooperation. In addition, agriculture and seafood are also potential fields in which Kuwait and Vietnam can cooperate to cultivate rice and export of some other agricultural products.

I also want to emphasize the importance of cooperation between Kuwaiti- Vietnamese private sectors because of their decisive roles in the economies. I believe that this cooperation will surely help lift trade transaction volumes between the two countries to a new height.

What are your suggestions for Vietnamese enterprises to increase market share in Kuwait and become an important trade partner in the Southeast region?

Kuwait is not rich in natural resources, therefore Kuwait’s economy relies much on imports. This opens many opportunities for export-oriented countries to become potential trade partners with the middle-east nation, including Vietnam.

I have been living in Vietnam for two years and surprised to see that Vietnam has many high quality products and have not been found in our country, except for similar ones made by the neighboring countries of Vietnam. Therefore, Vietnamese enterprises need to conduct more market surveys and soon introduce their products in the Kuwaiti market.

I believe that one of the fastest and most efficient ways for the Vietnamese enterprises to boost trade promotion in Kuwait is to organize some exhibitions in Kuwait, which opens a good opportunity for Kuwaiti enterprises to see and evaluate Vietnamese products and exchange related information right there. The exhibitions will contribute to increase two-way trade volumes and I hope that the Vietnamese enterprises operating in different areas could gather up and introduce their products to their Kuwaiti partners in the earliest time possible./.

Kuwait is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) along with Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, therefore the Kuwaiti market is quite large. Goods imported into Kuwait only have to be taxed once but can be consumed in every GCC country members.

Vietnam is one of the countries that their citizens can receive entry visas right at the Kuwait International Airport.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Tran Hoang