Vietnam, Middle East boost trade, investment
Updated : Saturday, May 12, 2018 9:06 AM (GMT+0700)

Vietnamand the Middle East hold potential to boost trade and investment, as heard theVietnam – Middle East trade forum held in Ho Chi Minh City on May 11. 

At the event - Source: Internet

Speaking at the event,deputy head of the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Department ofAsia – Africa Markets Le Thai Hoa described the Middle East as a big marketwith a population of over 300 million people. Each year, the region imports foodworth nearly 40 billion USD, which is expected to hike to 70 billion USD by2035. 

Major promising markets inthe region include the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Turkey, Arab Saudi andIran. 

Two-way trade betweenVietnam and the Middle East hit 12 billion USD last year, 9 billion USD ofwhich was Vietnam’s exports to the region. Apart from food and farm produce,the region has great demand for mobile phones, electronic equipment, consumergoods, leather and footwear which are Vietnam’s hard currency earners. 

The UAE is now Vietnam’sbiggest economic and trade partner with export turnover in excess of 5 billionUSD last year. 

Vietnamese Ambassador to theUAE Trinh Vinh Quang said Vietnam is now gateway for UAE firms to access ASEANmarket while the UAE is a gateway for Vietnam to expand to the MiddleEast. 

UAE Ambassador to VietnamObaid Al Dhaheri hailed Vietnam as the UAE’s leading economic partner inSoutheast Asia and suggested promoting collaboration across renewable energy,metallurgy, vessel repair, petrochemicals, chemicals and mechanicalengineering. 

The UAE has invested in 14projects worth over 26 million USD in Vietnam, mostly in infrastructure, realestate, mineral resources, manufacturing, tourism and services. 

Though two-way trade growsover years, Vietnam’s exports to the Middle East only account for more than 1percent of the region’s total imports. Though the region is strong in oil andgas, chemicals, manufacturing materials, industrial and high-tech goods, tradewith Vietnam remains limited. 

Hoa advised Vietnamese firmsto understand business customs as well as necessary regulations on exports tothe region. In particular, foodstuff needs Halal certification, adding thatthey should check records of partners and discuss the least risky paymentbefore signing contracts and delivering goods. 

Do Hoai Nam, Vice Chairmanof the Vietnam Coffee – Cocoa Association, said the region boasts huge demandfor rice, coffee, pepper and aquatic products. 

He suggested accessing theMiddle East market via Dubai – one of the most open economies and a transit hubin the region, and joining annual trade fairs in Dubai to directly meetregional buyers. 

On the occasion, the UAE’sRelam Investment and Vietnam’s MIG Holdings signed a cooperation agreement tolaunch Trade Hub in Vietnam – a platform operating in many countries to connectonline trade. 

MIG Holdings Director NguyenDuy Phuong said Trade Hub Vietnam is due to go into operation in July 2018,connecting manufacturers, services suppliers, financial organisations andinvestors together. 

He added that Trade Hub willhelp small and medium-sized enterprises in marketing and trade promotion andshare logistics services for small orders. 

Executive Director of SavilVietnam Neil Madgegor said the Middle East’s investment in Vietnam tends toincrease, mostly in real estate and high technology. 

In order to attract theMiddle East investment, he said Vietnamese firms need to improve transparency,corporate governance and workforce quality, thereby promoting bilateralpartnership.


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