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Qatar, VN aim to boost trade to $1b

Update: December, 16/2014 - 09:33
Deputy PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc meets with Qatar's PM Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, December 14, 2014 — Photo: VGP

HA NOI (VNS) — Qatar's Minister of Economy and Trade Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani said the emirate is committed to raising two-way trade with Viet Nam to US$1 billion in the near future.

Addressing the Viet Nam–Qatar economic co-operation forum in Doha on Sunday, he said Qatar was diversifying its economy so as to ease over-reliance on oil and gas.

Qatar has poured $4.5 billion into the Long Son petrochemical complex and raised its stakes in property projects in Viet Nam. Two-way trade currently focuses on petroleum and gas, with Viet Nam shipping wood and farm produce to Qatar, the minister said.

He expressed his hope that the booming demand for infrastructure would open up opportunities to Vietnamese constructors and human resource suppliers as Qatar is set to host the World Cup in 2022.

Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc briefed the Qatari business community on Viet Nam's political and socio-economic situation, saying that the country was speeding up economic restructuring and shifting its growth model, partly by fine-tuning regulations including the law on public investment, corporate law and a decree on public-private partnership.

Viet Nam will equitise over 430 State firms, including groups and corporations between now and late 2015, Phuc said.

With the ASEAN Economic Community set to be established late next year, Viet Nam is not only a key gateway for the Greater Sub-Mekong region, but also a bridge linking ASEAN economies, he said.

Along with its World Trade Organisation membership and partnership in 14 free trade agreements, Viet Nam would form a key part of a wide-ranging economic network covering 55 nations. As such, it would create an environment conducive to foreign firms operating in the country, Phuc said.

Several Qatari businesses expressed interest in buying rice, cashew nuts, and pepper, as well as making real estate investments in Viet Nam.

At the end of the forum, the Vietnamese and Qatari Chambers of Commerce and Industry signed a memorandum of understanding on strengthening co-operation.

While in Qatar, Phuc also attended the Vietnam Days celebration that features many cultural activities. — VNS

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