06:00 | 20/04/2022 Trade
(VEN) - Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s March 21-22 visit to Vietnam has created an impetus for stronger cooperation between the two sides ahead of the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties between the two countries.
US$18 billion in trade by 2025
At a meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, Yaakob said Malaysia gives high priority to bolstering cooperation with Vietnam, the country’s sole strategic partner in Southeast Asia.
Malaysia is currently Vietnam’s second largest trading partner in ASEAN and ninth globally, whereas Vietnam is Malaysia’s third biggest trading partner in ASEAN. In 2021, two-way trade reached US$12.5 billion, an increase of 25.3 percent compared to the previous year. In the first two months of 2022, the figure reached nearly US$2.2 billion, a year-on-year increase of 20 percent.
The two leaders affirmed that there remains great potential for Vietnam and Malaysia to promote economic, trade and investment cooperation. They also agreed to work to raise two-way trade to US$18 billion or even higher by 2025 and promote trade in their signature goods, such as agricultural and aquatic products, Halal products and electronic components. They also agreed to examine a mechanism on information sharing regarding trade remedies.
PM Chinh suggested that Malaysian companies strengthen investment in support industries, high-quality infrastructure, innovation, high-tech and information technology application as Vietnam advances its digital transformation.
The two leaders also agreed to enhance coordination in order to make effective use of new-generation free trade agreements of which both are members, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
Halal industry cooperation
Vietnam and Malaysia have great potential for development cooperation, especially in Halal food. Data show that there are nearly one billion Muslims in Southeast Asia, accounting for 66 percent of the total population. Vietnam’s demand for Halal food is also increasing due to tourists and foreigners coming to live and work in Vietnam.
At a meeting between Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien and Malaysian Minister of International Trade and Industry Mohamed Azmin Ali, Minister Dien said Halal-certified products in Vietnam remain limited, adding that Vietnam hopes for Malaysia’s help in developing its industry to serve the needs of people in the region.
The Malaysian minister said the global Halal market is growing robustly, with its total value reaching around US$2.44 trillion in 2018. Food and beverages account for some 56 percent of that figure (over US$1.36 trillion) and their value is expected to expand 6.3 percent annually to exceed US$1.972 trillion by 2024. He also said Malaysian companies are ready to share experience and expertise to help Vietnam gain broader access to Halal certification.