Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Despite the accelerated economic growth of Việt Nam and of the Czech Republic, trade between the two countries has not lived up to its potential, said participants at a conference in Hà Nội on Monday.
The event, organised by the Hà Nội Centre of Investment, Trade and Tourism Promotion, was designed to help Vietnamese enterprises expand their market in the Czech Republic – a large trading partner of Việt Nam in Eastern Europe.
The economies of Việt Nam and the Czech Republic are developing at a high speed, integrating deeply into the world and regional economy. The two countries have many favourable opportunities to develop bilateral co-operation in economics, trade and investment. However, the results of their economic and trade co-operation have not matched the potential.
As of the middle of 2016, only 30 Czech enterprises were investing in Việt Nam with total capital of more than US$170 million, ranking 40 among over 150 countries and territories that have invested in Việt Nam. Import and export turnover reached nearly $1 billion.
Located at the heart of Europe and possessing high quality transport infrastructure, the Czech government has always supported transparent investment and skilled labour from other countries, including Việt Nam, with fluency in a foreign language, said David Jakulisch, economic counselor of the Embassy of the Czech Republic to Việt Nam.
Việt Nam mainly exports traditional products to the Czech Republic, such as footwear, garments, seafood, industrial machinery and electrical equipment, and imports machinery, equipment, tools and iron and steel products.
Czech investors are present in 10 provinces and cities, mainly in Hà Nội, HCM City, Hà Tĩnh and Quảng Bình, as well as Quảng Nam, Hải Phòng, Lâm Đồng, Hải Dương and Hà Nam. Meanwhile, the Vietnamese business community in the Czech Republic has also been growing, gradually asserting its position and role in Czech and European markets.
Trần Đình Hiệp, head of general division, Europe Market Unit, Ministry of Industry and Trade, said trade of Vietnamese goods with the Czech market still faced many difficulties. For example, Việt Nam’s export products have to compete in terms of price, quality and design with European, Chinese, Thai and Turkish goods. The competition was getting increasingly fierce as European brands capture a major share of supermarket products in large cities and are seeking to expand to local retail chains.
The Vietnamese business community is, therefore, looking for solutions to further promote its role as a bridge to increase exports of Vietnamese goods to the Czech and European markets, as well as to continue attracting investment and transferring Czech technology into Việt Nam.
The conference is part of programmes to promote investment, trade and tourism in Hà Nội in 2017. — VNS