10:27 | 30/11/2017 MUTRAP Corner
(VEN) - Slovak Deputy Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini, speaking at the Vietnam-Slovakia Business Forum in Hanoi on November 27, pledged that his country would become a gateway for Vietnamese products to the European market.
Vietnam is an important Slovak partner in Southeast Asia, particularly in terms of economic cooperation.
Within the framework of the forum, the Hanoi People’s Committee signed a memorandum of understanding with Asseco Central Europe for the supply of smart public lighting. It is one of the biggest projects of public lighting exchange in the world, whose value should amount to US$150 million in the next 10 years, said Pellegrini.
The Slovak government wants to further promote economic cooperation between the two sides. Pellegrini said the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, once ratified, would open up a new chapter in the two countries’ relationship. “We are ready to support Vietnam and make Slovakia a gateway for Vietnam to access the EU market,” he said, adding that his government is committed to creating ideal conditions for Vietnamese businesses investing in Slovakia.
Deputy Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong said that despite obstacles in terms of geographical location, economic relations between the two countries have achieved encouraging results. Trade turnover between Vietnam and Slovakia has grown 40 times compared to 2004. Last year’s bilateral turnover increased by 52 percent compared to 2015, reaching US$449 million. In the first 10 months of this year, two-way trade reached about US$630 million, up 80 percent against the same period last year, making Slovakia one of Vietnam’s most important trading partners in Central and Eastern Europe.
Vietnam’s primary exports to Slovakia include footwear, clothing, seafood, industrial machines and electronics, while the country mostly imports engineering products, chemicals and pharmaceuticals.
Slovakia is investing in nine projects in Vietnam with total capital of US$247 million, making it 36th among 128 countries investing directly in Vietnam. Vietnam has only one ongoing project in Slovakia - the FPT Corporation has invested US$447,000 there. In addition, TH True Milk is also exploring investment in herbal drink projects in Slovakia.
Hoang Quoc Vuong said the results have not met the countries’ bilateral trade and investment potential. He reiterated the two governments’ dedication to boosting ties and expressed hope that businesses from the two countries would find opportunities during this forum to collaborate.
Vietnam and Slovakia have also explored cooperation in energy, finance, education and training, culture, tourism, high-tech agriculture and information technology.
Some 20 Slovak businesses in the areas of meteorology and climatology; information technology and aviation; electrical engineering and energy; food industry; communications and telecommunications; biotechnology; and services attended the forum.