Seminar discusses Vietnam’s economic cooperation with Africa, Middle East

09:37 | 23/11/2018 Cooperation

Diplomats and experts gathered at a seminar in Hanoi on November 15 to discuss the policies of countries in Africa and the Middle East towards Asia and cooperation opportunities for Vietnam.

Diplomats and experts at the seminar

The seminar was jointly held by the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) and the Department of the Middle East and Africa at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).

In his opening remarks, VASS President, Nguyen Quang Thuan, stated that, as Africa and the Middle East are looking towards Asia, it is necessary for Vietnamese policymakers and businesses to keep updated on their policies in order to maximise the benefits in cooperating with the regions.

For her part, MOFA Deputy Minister, Nguyen Phuong Nga, noted that Vietnam and the countries in Africa and the Middle East have many advantages that could supplement each other, adding that Vietnam is one of the fastest-growing economies in ASEAN.

Speaking at the seminar, South African Ambassador to Vietnam Mpetjane Kgaogelo Lekgoro underlined the shared colonial past as the basis for cooperation between Vietnam and Africa.

He stated that Vietnamese investors should start looking at Africa as an investment destination, adding that the potential for trade between the two sides is in abundance and what are required is political and business will.

Turkish Ambassador to Vietnam Akif Ayhan stated that the bilateral investment volume between Vietnam and Turkey is below its potential and the Turkish government is encouraging businesses to tap into the alluring Vietnamese market.

The two countries have agreed to raise their trade volume from the current US$3 billion to US$4 billion by 2020.

In the past three years, two-way trade between Vietnam and Africa and the Middle East has been growing strongly from US$16.25 billion in 2016 to US$18.65 billion in 2017, of which Vietnam recorded a trade surplus of US$5 billion.

Vietnam has maintained a bilateral trade value of more than US$1 billion with six economies in the region, namely the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel, South Africa and Ivory Coast.

At the seminar, diplomats and experts discuss the policy trends and markets of the countries in Africa and the Middle East, as well as the opportunities for Vietnam and suggestions to boost cooperation between the two sides.

Theo NDO