Top-level visit boosts Vietnam-Egypt trade

10:35 | 28/09/2017 Cooperation

(VEN) - The official visit of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to Vietnam contributed to further boosting the traditional partnership between the two countries in all fields.

top level visit boosts vietnam egypt trade
Vietnam’s President Tran Dai Quang (left) and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi inspect a guard of honor in Hanoi

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s visit was the first by an Egyptian state leader to Vietnam since the two countries established diplomatic relations on September 1, 1963, proving that Egypt attaches significance to Vietnam and considers it one of the priorities in its “Look East” policy.

El-Sisi and Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang agreed to promote bilateral cooperation in trade and investment, and made commitments to create favorable conditions for the two business communities to strengthen market access in order to achieve a US$1 billion trade turnover.

El-Sisi emphasized the friendship and cooperation between the two countries on the basis of mutual respect. The two sides also discussed Egypt’s major projects that aim to create a good environment for investment and technology attraction, especially the Suez Canal area development project, considered an important international route in the maritime industry and world trade.

Vietnam and Egypt are both developing countries, with similarities in terms of population and level of development. However the two sides have not tapped fully into their potential for cooperation.

Specifically, trade turnover between the two countries reached about US$314 million last year, including US$294 million in Vietnam’s exports to Egypt. According to statistics compiled by the General Department of Vietnam Customs, in the first seven months of this year, Vietnam’s exports to Egypt reached US$190.6 million in textile fibers, seafood, machinery and equipment, garments and textiles, iron and steel and spare parts.

top level visit boosts vietnam egypt trade
The signing of the minutes of the Vietnam-Egypt Intergovernmental Committee’s fifth meeting

The two presidents affirmed the importance of promoting cooperation in trade, investment, industry, agriculture, transportation, seaport construction, shipbuilding, culture, tourism, information and communications technology and education.

El-Sisi said Egypt has about 4,000km of Red Sea coastline and a market of 91 million people, providing a great opportunity for Vietnamese businesses to invest in the country. He said Egypt could also serve as a gateway for Vietnam to enter the African and Middle East markets, adding that Egypt’s engagement in free trade agreements with African states, Gulf States and Europe would make it easier for Vietnamese goods to access these markets. He stressed that Egypt wishes to balance trade with Vietnam and that Vietnamese enterprises should invest in his country’s industrial parks.

In the framework of the visit, the two countries signed nine agreements on cooperation in trade, investment, tourism, agriculture and transportation. The signing of the minutes of the Vietnam-Egypt Intergovernmental Committee’s fifth meeting and other cooperation deals will create a new cooperation mechanism to ease bottlenecks in trade relations. Egypt expressed willingness to provide technical assistance to enable Vietnam to issue Halal certificates attesting to foods being slaughtered and prepared in accordance with Islamic law.

Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang said cooperation agreements between the two countries would help complete a legal framework for bilateral partnership in the future. He hoped the traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation between Vietnam and Egypt will grow more and more efficiently and practically.

Nguyen Huong