On March 12, the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences and the Vietnamese Embassy in Kazakhstan co-hosted a seminar on Kazakhstan’s new economic policy in an aim to boosting the two countries’ relations.
Nguyen Quang Thuan, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) said that Vietnam and Kazakhstan had set up an effective, multi-faceted cooperation, particularly in the areas of politics, economics and culture after more than two decades of maintaining positive diplomatic ties.
However, Thuan added that the annual bilateral trade reached only a modest level of $100 million, still far from matching the two countries’ full potential. Once the free trade agreement (FTA) between Vietnam and the Customs Union of Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan takes effect, it would open up a new door for strengthened comprehensive cooperation initiatives in the areas.
From 2011-2013, the bilateral trade turnover between the two nations increased by an average of 85 per cent, in the course of which it raised as high as 104 per cent in 2012. Kazakhstan’s import turnover from Vietnam continued to increase to $231 million in 2013 from $26.7 million in 2010. Meanwhile, Kazakhstan’s export to Vietnam is not yet significant and has been showing a consistent, strong downwards trend from $10.8 million in 2010 to $1.4 million in 2013.
At the seminar Beketzhan Zhumakhanov, Kazakh Ambassador to Vietnam introduced the fundamental contents of Kazakhstan’s economic policy that aims to develop the country into one of the fastest growing nations in Asia, with an aim of joining the world’s 50 most competitive nations.
The Kazakh economic policy covers seven areas: modern transport infrastructure development, industrial infrastructure, energy, modernisation of public housing services, the provision of safe and hot water supply, social infrastructure development and support for small and medium sized enterprises.
Kazakhstan welcomes all Vietnamese students keen to learn at its leading universities to provide prospects for sustainable bilateral cooperation in various fields, he added.
During 1991-2014, Kazakhstan did not have any investment project in Vietnam while investments from Vietnam in Kazakhstan reached $2.4 million.