Vice President of Argentina Gabriela Michetti (R) receives Việt Nam’s Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Đỗ Thắng Hải at a meeting in Buenos Aires on Friday.— VNA/VNS Photo Diệu Hương
Buenos Aires — Việt Nam is one of the most important economic partners of Argentina, Vice President of Argentina Gabriela Michetti told Việt Nam’s Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Đỗ Thắng Hải at a meeting in Buenos Aires on Friday.
Michetti, who is also President of the Argentine Senate, stressed that Argentina is keen to develop co-operation with Southeast Asian countries, including Việt Nam, and recognised the remarkable progress made in bilateral relations in recent years.
She proposed Việt Nam create opportunities for businesses to cooperate in the fields of their strengths, including garment-textiles, agriculture, culture, and people-to-people exchanges.
Hải issued a briefing on the outcomes of the mid-term session of the Việt Nam-Argentina intergovernmental committee, which took place in Buenos Aires on October 25-26, and affirmed that the committee had helped promote bilateral cooperation not only in economics, trade and investment but also in agriculture, science and technology.
He urged the two sides to strengthen coordination to increase bilateral trade to US$3.5 billion in 2017 as well as speed up the roadmap to open markets for farm produce in 2017-18, which includes facilitating procedures for Vietnamese fruits such as lychees, dragon fruits, longans and mangoes and Argentine fruits such as oranges, blueberries, pears, apples and cherries.
The official also suggested increasing delegation exchanges and hosting trade and investment promotion activities to help firms explore the business environments in the respective countries.
"Việt Nam will serve as a gateway for Argentina to export goods to the Southeast Asian market while Argentina will help Việt Nam penetrate into the Latin American market," he affirmed.
He proposed Argentina—a founding member of the South American trade bloc Mercosur—accelerate the negotiation process and signing of a preferential trade agreement between this bloc and Việt Nam.
Earlier Deputy Minister Hải and Secretary for International Economic Relations of the Argentine Foreign Ministry Horacio Reyser co-chaired a meeting of the Việt Nam-Argentina inter-governmental committee.
Reyser said Việt Nam is not only a priority market in Argentina’s strategy to diversify and expand exports, but also one of the country’s most important trade partners in Asia and Argentina’s third-biggest importer.
Two-way trade surpassed $3 billion in 2016, showing a year-on-year rise of 16.7 per cent. In the first nine months of 2017, bilateral trade reached nearly $2.4 billion, up 15 per cent against the same period last year.
Việt Nam mainly exported footwear, garment-textiles, rubber, electronic spare parts and plastic products while importing soybeans, soybean oil, maze, wheat, cattle-feed and pharmaceutical products. The two sides pledged to speed up exchanges of information on food security and animal and plant quarantine.
During his visit to Argentina, Deputy Minister Hải also had a working session with Argentina’s Deputy Minister of Production Miguel Braun. — VNS