Vietnam, Iran underline economic ties

09:48 | 14/11/2016 Cooperation

(VEN) - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s state visit to Vietnam from October 5-7 has opened new prospects for bilateral cooperation in various sectors, especially economic relations.

vietnam iran underline economic ties

Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang talks with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani

Cooperation results remain modest

Vietnam and Iran established diplomatic relations in 1973 and have signed many cooperation agreements in agriculture, culture, science and technology, education and training, banking, and taxation.

However, the results of bilateral cooperation during the past 43 years remained modest. Last year, trade between the two countries reached US$106.7 million, including US$77.2 million worth of Vietnamese exports. In the first half of this year, Vietnam exported US$35.5 million worth of products to Iran, contributing to bilateral trade of US$54 million. Major Vietnamese exports to Iran included razor blades, construction stone, tea, and cashew nuts, while imports from this market included fertilizers, plastic materials, and liquefied petroleum gas.

According to the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Iran so far has invested in a mere two projects in Vietnam with total registered capital of US$40 million, ranking 112th among 115 countries and territories investing in Vietnam. Vietnamese investment in Iran also remains inconsiderable.

Bilateral trade set to reach US$2 billion

Vietnamese and Iranian leaders agreed to boost bilateral trade and investment cooperation, and create favorable conditions for businesses of the two countries to access each other’s markets. Annual bilateral trade is set to reach US$2 billion in the near future.

In the framework of the Iranian President’s visit, Iranian Minister of Industry, Mines and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh met Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh. The two ministers talked about the advantages of each country and opportunities to increase bilateral trade cooperation in the coming time.

Minister Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh said Iran has opened its trade office in Vietnam, which would offer a connection between the business communities of the two countries. Iran can import Vietnamese products such as textiles, garments, and food, while Vietnam wants to import Iranian fibers, yarns, materials, and carpets.

Minister Tran Tuan Anh affirmed the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade is willing to expand cooperation with Iran in trade, investment, and industrial production. Trade in rice will be facilitated as Iran has high demand for this product while Vietnam is a major rice exporter.

To increase bilateral cooperation in trade, Minister Tran Tuan Anh said the Iranian trade office in Vietnam needs to concentrate on supporting business exchanges between the two communities. He suggested that ministries and sectors of the two countries exchange market information on a regular basis to help businesses promote trade. Minister Tran Tuan Anh believes these efforts will make the US$2 billion bilateral trade target feasible.

Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh:

Vietnam is willing to sign trade and industry cooperation agreements with Iran to create a legal framework for businesses of the two countries.

Chu Huynh