Trade, a pillar of Vietnam-Argentina cooperation

06:00 | 01/06/2021 Cooperation

(VEN) - Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, trade between Vietnam and Argentina in 2020 reached US$3.95 billion, a rise of 4.3 percent compared with 2019. In an interview with Vietnam Economic News’ Hoa Quynh, new Argentinian Ambassador to Vietnam Luis Pablo Maria Beltramino expressed his belief that bilateral trade will continue growing in 2021. 

trade a pillar of vietnam argentina cooperation
Argentinian Ambassador to Vietnam Luis Pablo Maria Beltramino

Could you share your comments on Vietnam-Argentina cooperation, especially trade, in the context of Covid-19?

In 2020, despite Covid-19, bilateral cooperation yielded positive results in all aspects. Notably, Vietnam’s exports to Argentina increased at a higher rate compared with Argentinian exports to Vietnam. The two sides are looking towards the balance of bilateral trade in 2021 and strengthening the foothold of major Vietnamese goods in the Argentinian market. Vietnam and Argentina are promoting a mutually supportive trade partnership rather than competing with each other.

The prospects for future bilateral trade, in my opinion, are good. Argentina can promote the export of not only products that are its advantages, such as beef, seafood, soybean, and wood, but also other products such as lemon and grapefruit. At the same time, Argentina will create favorable conditions for high-quality Vietnamese farm products such as citrus, coffee and pork to be sold in our market.

How do you think free trade agreements (FTAs) help Vietnam promote economic growth and attract investment?

I think FTAs will help accelerate Vietnam’s integration into the global economy and make it more attractive to foreign investors. The South American bloc Mercosur, a trading bloc and customs union consisting of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, has reached an FTA with the EU and is negotiating an FTA with Canada. Mercosur is also considering an FTA with Vietnam.

Many Argentinian companies have invested in Vietnam. The investment environment in Vietnam is open and favorable. I hope the number of Vietnamese investors present in Argentina will increase. I believe Argentina is a potential market where Vietnamese investors can expand operations as it offers Vietnamese goods a gateway to the South American market.

trade a pillar of vietnam argentina cooperation
There are opportunities for Vietnamese citrus exports to Argentina

What do you expect from bilateral economic and commercial cooperation?

I believe trade between Vietnam and Argentina will increase strongly in 2021. Vietnam has achieved success in preventing the spread of Covid-19, providing significant conditions for the two countries to promote economic cooperation. Apart from trade, Argentina also wishes to expand cooperation with Vietnam in other fields such as sports, culture, technology, and nuclear energy.

The Argentinian Embassy in Vietnam is expediting trade promotion activities in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City - the two major economic hubs of the country. These activities include the introduction of Argentina’s Malbec wines and Argentine Week events in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. We will also support trade promotion activities of Argentine businesses and their Vietnamese partners.

We expect an increased presence of Vietnamese products in the Argentinian market, not only electronic products, and materials for textile, garment, leather and footwear production, but also farm products such as litchi and coffee. I think Vietnam should organize more trade promotion events in Argentina to promote the image of Vietnamese products. The Argentine Chamber of Commerce and Service (CAC) and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) have signed a cooperation agreement which is expected to create favorable conditions for businesses of the two sides to access each other’s markets.

Hoa Quynh