Vietnam-Czech economic cooperation promoted

February 22, 2023 | 11:06
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The Vietnam-Czech Business Forum took place on February 21 to create new opportunities for businesses.

The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Czech Embassy in Vietnam, and the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic hosted the forum, aiming to create opportunities for businesses from the two countries to expand the networks.

The event was held as Czech Industry and Trade Minister Jozef Sikela visited Vietnam on February 19-22.

Leading enterprises of the Czech Republic visiting Vietnam for the event came from many fields, including energy, construction, network security, software development, pharmaceuticals, credit insurance, and many more.

Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said at the forum, “After more than 70 years of diplomatic relations, Vietnam and the Czech Republic have seen many achievements in trade and investment, but that is still not commensurate with its potential. Export figures both ways are still modest, so both sides need to promote further."

Last year, the total trade turnover between Vietnam and the Czech Republic increased by 12.6 per cent compared to 2022, reaching $828 million. In which, Vietnam's export to the Czech Republic reached $668 million, up 14.6 on-year. Meanwhile, Vietnam's imports from the Czech Republic reached $160 million, up 5 per cent. The Czech Republic is now one of its most important trading partners of Vietnam in East-Central Europe.

The main export items of Vietnam to the Czech Republic are footwear, garments, seafood, and industrial machines. Vietnam also imports from the Czech Republic machinery and equipment, mechanical products, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and crystal glassware.

By the end of 2022, the Czech Republic has four valid projects with total registered capital of approximately $92.4 million, ranking 49 among 141 countries and territories investing in Vietnam.

Likewise, Vietnam only has four projects in the Czech Republic at modest capital of $4.4 million, mainly in the form of joint ventures.

“I urge Czech businesses to pay more attention to the Vietnamese market, which is one of the most dynamic developing markets in Asia. Obviously, the potential for cooperation between the two countries is considerable but has not been adequately promoted," said Hai.

Vietnam-Czech economic cooperation promoted

The deputy minister said that Vietnam's Ministry of Industry and Trade, and other relevant ministries, departments, and branches are committed to supporting and creating favourable conditions for Czech enterprises to business, trade, and investment in accordance with Vietnam's laws, regulations, and policies of actively integrating into the international economy.

Jozef Síkela, Minister of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic, considers Vietnam a very close friend in the strategic economic partner in terms of the development of trade and investment for many reasons. He noted that the special relationship between the two is based on the presence of the Vietnamese community, which is the third largest in Europe. That number is approximately 100,000 people, who play an important role in society and for the economy. Contrarily, there are more than 200,000 citizens who speak Czech or Slovak in Vietnam.

Secondly, in terms of overall trade, Vietnam represents the most significant trade partner of the Czech Republic acts in Southeast Asia and tech companies have excellent references on the local market in areas such as defence and security, mining, industry, energy sector, and financial services.

“Last year, the bilateral trade between both countries reached a record level and we expect that the value of trade will increase even more in the years to come thanks to the cooperation projects of the companies from the two sides,” said Sikela.

In addition, the trade rules between the two countries are now much simpler thanks to the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement.

“Vietnam is among the most stable and fast-expanding markets in Asia, and remarkable economic and investment opportunities can be found here,” Sikela added. “The forum represents an excellent occasion to find ways how to further expand economic cooperation between the Czech Republic and Vietnam and support business-to-business contacts between our two business communities.”

The business forum also witnessed the signing ceremony of cooperation between a number of Vietnamese enterprises and partners from the Czech Republic.

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