09:09 | 23/08/2016 Trade
(VEN) - The entry into force of the free trade agreement (FTA) between Vietnam and Chile in January 2014 marked a new era in Vietnam-Chile trade relations and has contributed to the expansion of bilateral trade which is expected to exceed US$1 billion this year, said Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh at the second session of the Vietnam-Chile Free Trade Council recently in Hanoi.
Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh (left, first row) and Chilean Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade Andres Rebolledo (right)
Deputy Minister Khanh added that friendly relations between Vietnam and Chile have seen fruits in various fields in recent years. The two countries have supported each other in all multilateral forums, especially the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. Bilateral trade has grown, especially since the Vietnam-Chile FTA took effect. Before the FTA, bilateral trade reached nearly US$500 million with Vietnam facing a continuous trade deficit.
In 2015, Vietnamese exports to Chile reached US$655.7 million, a rise of 197.2 percent compared with 2013 and 29.3 percent compared with 2014, while imports from this market reached US$294.9 million, down 7.8 percent compared with 2013 and 20.2 percent compared with 2014. In the first six months of this year, trade between the two countries reached US$510.3 million, up 5.2 percent compared with the same period last year. Vietnamese exports to Chile amounted to US$393.7 million, whereas imports from Chile totaled US$116.6 million. The most important categories of Vietnamese exports were consumer goods such as leather and footwear, textiles and garments, computers, electronic products and components, seafood, iron and steel products, machinery, equipment, instruments, and spare parts. Major Vietnamese imports from Chile included materials such as copper, timber, fish powder, paper pulp, and some farm products such as wine, fresh fruit, and poultry.
According to Chilean Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade Andres Rebolledo, the Vietnam-Chile FTA had brought significant progress in bilateral trade. However, bilateral cooperation still reveals some limitations. Specifically, 84.6 percent of Vietnamese exports to Chile currently are tax-free, while a mere 28.4 percent of Chilean exports to Vietnam enjoy tax exemptions. Therefore, Chile wished Vietnam would deal with these differences as soon as possible.
In the framework of the session, Deputy Minister Khanh received former Chilean President Eduardo Frei. The two sides talked about positive changes in bilateral trade and measures to boost cooperation in this field in the time to come. Chile requested Vietnam to create favorable conditions for Chile to increase agricultural exports to Vietnam and expected the two countries would expand cooperation in investment, trade, culture, and society.
Deputy Minister Khanh said that through this session, the two sides reviewed the successful results and indicated reasons for limitations in cooperation in order to find suitable measures to boost bilateral relations in all fields in the coming period.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh:
Vietnam has received the support from Chile in recent years and hopes for its further support and coordination with Vietnam as a host country for APEC Summit 2017.