Various measures boost Vietnam-Uzbekistan economic ties

10:06 | 24/12/2013 Trade

(VEN) - The Sixth Meeting of the Vietnam-Uzbekistan Joint-Government Committee on Economic, Trade, Science and Technology Cooperation was held recently in Hanoi focusing on specific and practical measures to boost bilateral trade.

The Sixth Meeting of the Vietnam-Uzbekistan Joint-Government Committee on Economic, Trade, Science and Technology Cooperation

Economic and trade ties between Vietnam and Uzbekistan have improved in recent years. Statistics from Uzbekistani customs showed that trade between the two countries reached US$14.4 million in 2012, a 6.9 percent increase on 2011, including US$8.9 million worth of Vietnamese exports and US$5.5 million worth of Vietnamese imports. By the end of August 2013 two-way trade was estimated at US$8.3 million, including US$3.5 million in Vietnamese exports and US$4.8 million in Vietnamese imports.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh who co-chaired the meeting said that economic and trade cooperation did not match potential and that the sixth meeting was a good opportunity for the two parties to discuss proper solutions to expanding goods and service exchange.

“Apart from energy, oil and gas, we need to prioritize cooperation in areas which Vietnam has strengths in and Uzbekistan has high demand for, such as consumer goods, textiles, garments, footwear, rice and fertilizer. The Vietnamese government always welcomes businesses and investors from Uzbekistan,” said Tran Quoc Khanh.

Uzbekistani Deputy Economic Minister S. Shermatov who was co-chaired the meeting expressed his willingness to continue enhancing trade and investment ties with Vietnam, which has a dynamically-developing economy and is deeply integrating into the global economy.

“With the developing ASEAN and Vietnam’s joining a series of leading Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) such as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the EU-Vietnam FTA (EVFTA), Uzbekistani businesses see Vietnam as an attractive investment destination. For this reason, the sixth meeting is much more significant and plays a much bigger role than the previous ones,” said Uzbekistani Deputy Economic Minister S. Shermatov.

At the meeting the two parties agreed to assign the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group and the Uzbekistan National Oil and Gas Company to work on the feasibility to expand cooperation in oil and gas, including projects to increase oil extraction in the northeast of Uzbekistan. Vietnam also asked Uzbekistan to quickly grant a license and an investment certificate to the joint project to explore oil and gas in Paleozoi.

The two parties admitted that cooperation in textiles, garments, leather and footwear after the fifth meeting did not reach expectations. They agreed to continue support of Vietnamese and Uzbekistani businesses in these areas and provide favorable conditions for establishing production joint venture enterprises in both countries. The Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group was assigned to work with Uzbekistani major companies on a future mechanism for direct cotton trading.

The two sides were also concerned about helping businesses ensure Uzbekistani direct and stable cotton and fertilizer supply in Vietnam. Uzbekistan wanted to directly sell its chemical products, textiles, leather, silk, conductive wire and more to Vietnam.

In addition, to increase Vietnamese and Uzbekistani business participation in trade promotion events in both countries, the two parties agreed to exchange lists of fairs and exhibitions to be held in 2014.

Vietnam asked Uzbekistan to help the Vietnam Military Telecommunications Group (Viettel) enter the telecommunications market in Uzbekistan.

At the end of the meeting the two parties agreed to hold the seventh meeting in Uzbekistan in 2014./.

By Hung Cuong