Trade deals explored with Turkey and UAE

December 04, 2023 | 09:00
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Vietnam is seeking to forge new agreements with Turkey and the United Arab Emirates to help boost investment and trade opportunities.
Trade deals explored with Turkey and UAE
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (left) met with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, photo: VNA

During a three-day visit to Turkey last week, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh underlined that to create major breakthroughs in trade and investment cooperation between the two economies, both nations need to “boost some specific solutions including the early study of kicking off negotiations of the Vietnam-Turkey Free Trade Agreement” at a suitable point of time. He also proposed that Turkey soon recognise Vietnam as a market economy.

What is more, the Vietnamese leader also suggested the early organisation of the eight meeting of the Vietnam-Turkey Intergovernmental Committee in Ankara in 2024, in order to review and remove obstructions for cooperation projects, and to negotiate and ink new cooperation deals in the sectors of security and defence, labour, and agriculture.

He also proposed an increase in organising activities on investment and trade promotion between both nations’ enterprises and localities, with a continued opening of markets for each other including the facilitation of exports of both sides into their respective markets – with the removal of barriers including anti-dumping measures for their respective goods and services.

Turkish Minister of Trade Omer Bolat told PM Chinh that more and more Turkish businesses are increasingly interested in Vietnam’s market, particularly in fields like construction, industrial production, and production of consumer goods.

Bolat said he will lead a business delegation to visit Vietnam next year to explore the market and potential projects.

Do Son Hai, Vietnamese Ambassador to Turkey, said that in an aim to expand trade and investment, Turkey is implementing cooperation initiatives with various regions.

Specifically, Turkey’s Asia Anew Initiative and strategy on strengthening trade with far nations are both aimed at increasing trade and investment with ASEAN, in which Vietnam is considered a big market with great potential for increasing trade and investment.

With the Asia Anew Initiative, Turkey has determined a long-term cooperation strategy covering many pillars including elevating bilateral ties with Vietnam, boosting the connectivity between the private sectors of both countries, increasing research cooperation, and promoting connectivity between the two countries’ people.

In the Turkish strategy on strengthening trade with far nations, Vietnam is among 18 target nations. In the strategy, action plans with 12 solutions have been developed, with focus placed on many sectors such as e-commerce, agriculture, energy, and transport.

“I do believe that the Vietnam-Turkey relations will see major positive changes in the coming time,” said Ambassador Hai.

Vietnam and Turkey forged diplomatic ties in 1978. Two-way trade between the two countries hit more than $2 billion last year – up 26.3 per cent on-year, and nearly $1.9 billion in the first 10 months of this year – with $1.54 billion of Vietnamese exports and $360 million of Vietnamese imports. Both nations last week set a target of achieving $5 billion in the coming years.

Cumulatively as of November 20, Turkey had 36 valid projects in Vietnam with a total registered capital of $974.3 billion, ranking 26th out of 143 nations and territories investing in Vietnam, according to Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI).

Meanwhile, PM Chinh last week flew to the UAE, where he will attend COP28 and meet with the country’s leaders. He also engaged in meetings with local businesses, corporations, and investment funds, thus opening up more markets for Vietnam’s exports, attracting high-quality investment capital, and expanding cooperation in science and technology, clean energy, digital transformation, and innovation.

Economic cooperation, meanwhile, remains a crucial pillar and a bright spot in the panorama of Vietnam-UAE cooperation. The UAE is now Vietnam’s largest trade and investment partner in the Middle East, with bilateral trade turnover in recent years reaching approximately $5 billion. In the first 10 months of this year, the figure came at nearly $4 billion, up 1.8 per cent on-year. The two nations are striving to increase the figure to $10 billion and even higher in the coming years.

When it comes to investment, according to the MPI, cumulatively as of November 20, the UAE boasted 39 projects registered at $71.5 million. In energy, Vietnam consistently considers the UAE as one of its most important partners in the Middle East.

Currently, Vietnam and the UAE are making preparations for kick-starting negotiations on a bilateral comprehensive economic partnership agreement. It is expected that the signing will provide a legal foundation for the two economies to increase cooperation in the exploration and exploitation of oil and gas, exchange technical expertise, export of Vietnam’s key items including textiles and garments, footwear, agricultural products, and also train high-quality human resources for various sectors.

Under a joint ministerial statement on the CEPA reached in mid-2023, the agreement “should be mutually beneficial and comprehensive, covering trade in goods and services, investment facilitation, other areas to be agreed upon, and cooperation in related matters, so as to serve the economic objectives set by the two parties of substantially increasing the volume of bilateral trade and investment”.

Over past years, Vietnam and the UAE have been boosting cooperation in oil and gas. Vietnam has suggested that both countries sign a new MoU on energy cooperation and create stronger conditions for UAE partners to soon work with Vietnam in the oil and gas sector. It is also suggested that both sides consider a possibility of constructing a centre for transporting and storing crude oil and petrochemical products in Vietnam, which will be provided for Asian markets.

It was also recommended that UAE oil and gas companies and PetroVietnam be facilitated to boost cooperation in investing in exploring and exploiting oil and gas in Vietnam, exchanging technical skills and expertise, and training high-quality human resources. In addition, both nations are also expected to increase cooperation in developing electricity transmission lines in Vietnam.

The UAE is among the world’s 10 largest oil producers. About 96 per cent of this country’s roughly 100 billion barrels of proven oil reserves are located in Abu Dhabi, ranking number six worldwide. The UAE produces an average of 3.2 million barrels of petroleum and liquids per day.

More than 70,000 delegates are expected to attend COP28, including the member states of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Business leaders, young people, climate scientists, indigenous peoples, journalists, and various other experts and stakeholders are also among the participants.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh led a Vietnamese high-ranking delegation to attend COP28 in the UAE. The trip reaffirms Vietnam’s consistent policy on green growth and climate change response, as well as its role and position on the regional and international stage.

Do Hung Viet, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Trade deals explored with Turkey and UAE

The World Climate Action Summit within COP28 is of great importance in the context that climate change remains the biggest challenge and the greatest public concern globally this year. More than 130 heads of states and prime ministers participate in the event to discuss and seek long-term solutions in coping with climate change.

Globally, grave impacts of climate change require nations need to take prompt and strong actions in order to reach goals under the Paris Agreement of keeping the global temperature rise at 1.5 degrees Celsius. This would mean the need to bridge the gap between advanced commitments and realised commitments, especially when it comes to greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, and climate finance (including finance for adaptation) and support for developing nations to overcome losses and damage caused by climate change.

Response to climate change would need a global and whole-people approach, ensuring climate quality and justice, and based on a firm foundation of international solidarity, in which developed nations should play a leading role, creating motivation for climate actions, and at the same time increasing support for developing countries.

That’s why at COP28, Vietnam hopes that the conference will achieve practical progress, especially in the four top areas of concern. Firstly, countries continue to take strong actions to reduce GHG emissions and carry out energy transition in a sustainable and equitable way.

Secondly, developed countries realise their commitments, especially in providing finance and supporting technology transfer to developing countries in this process (including implementing commitments with the goal of mobilising $100 billion each year and increasing commitment up to 2025 and 2030).

Thirdly, it is necessary to pay due attention to activities involving climate change adaptation and provide a clear and feasible global adaptation goal framework.

Lastly, it is needed to put the Loss and Damage Fund into operation soon so as to have a new, larger financial source to support developing countries and those most severely affected by climate change.

The Vietnamese government, ministries, sectors, and localities have been taking drastic and concrete actions to help us reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and, at COP28, PM Chinh will announce new initiatives and commitments of Vietnam in global joint efforts against climate change.

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