|Việt Nam's Minister of Industry and Trade, Nguyễn Hồng Diên, and Romanian Minister of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Tourism, Stefan-Radu Oprea, sign a memorandum of understanding on co-operation. — Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Industry and Trade|
HÀ NỘI — The 17th session of the Việt Nam-Romania Joint Committee on Economic Cooperation took place in Hà Nội on Tuesday under the co-chairmanship of Việt Nam's Minister of Industry and Trade, Nguyễn Hồng Diên, and Romanian Minister of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Tourism, Stefan-Radu Oprea.
During the session, reviewing the results achieved in economic and trade cooperation, the two ministers expressed satisfaction with the positive developments in the Việt Nam-Romania bilateral relationship across various aspects, including politics, diplomacy, economics, labour, education, and culture.
Among these, economic and trade ties are crucial and serve as a driving force for the collaborative relationship between the two nations.
In the period from 2019 to 2022, bilateral trade between the two countries increased by over 1.6 times from US$261 million in 2019 to $425 million in 2022, with Việt Nam's exports to Romania rising 1.6 times from nearly $194 million in 2019 to $322 million in 2022, and imports from Romania to Việt Nam increasing 1.5 times from $68 million to $103 million.
However, during the meeting, the two ministers expressed that economic and trade cooperation between the two countries had not met expectations.
Việt Nam's exports to Romania in 2022 constituted only 0.24 per cent of Romania's imports, while Romania's exports to Việt Nam represented just 0.03 per cent of Việt Nam's imports.
At the meeting, both sides spent considerable time exchanging views and identifying priority areas for cooperation to promote in the coming time, focusing on maximising the benefits from major cooperation frameworks, such as the Việt Nam-EU Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), the Free Trade Agreement between Việt Nam and the European Union (EVFTA).
They also emphasised the need to accelerate the implementation of commitments within the framework of the Economic Cooperation Committee between the two countries to bring about positive outcomes for both sides in the upcoming period.
Minister Nguyễn Hồng Diên sincerely thanked Minister Oprea for his attention and support in promoting the negotiation and signing of the EVFTA and EVIPA, adding that, the EVFTA became effective on August 1, 2020, opening up significant opportunities for trade between Việt Nam and EU countries in general and Romania in particular.
At the meeting, the two ministers also agreed to make effective use of the EVFTA to open up each other's markets. They emphasised the need to enhance the exchange of business delegations and attract investments in sectors where Việt Nam has demand and Romania has strengths, such as machinery, specialised equipment, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, automobile manufacturing, clean energy, mining, oil refining, etc.
Diên proposed that Romania open its market to Vietnamese goods, especially products related to textiles, footwear, agriculture, aquaculture, coffee, and various fruits.
Việt Nam would also be willing to act as a bridge to promote economic and trade relations between Romania and ASEAN as well as other economies that Việt Nam has signed free trade agreements with.
Meanwhile, Oprea expressed appreciation for the longstanding and traditional relations between the two countries. Romania was keen on further facilitating the export and import of agricultural products, pharmaceuticals, and promoting collaboration in the fields of science and technology, especially in artificial intelligence and digital transformation. Romania would actively consider Việt Nam's proposal to establish a Working Group on Labour within the framework of the Joint Commission between the two countries.
During his working visit to Việt Nam, Minister Oprea noted the participation of Romanian sectors and businesses, expressing the desire to seek cooperation with Việt Nam in areas such as oil and gas, power transmission, agriculture, information technology, pharmaceuticals, and tourism. This is aimed at realising agreements and commitments between Việt Nam and the EU, as well as with Romania. He also mentioned that Romania would be ready to be a gateway for Vietnamese goods to enter Europe.
The 17th session of the Việt Nam-Romania Joint Committee on Economic Cooperation, accompanied by the Vietnam-Romania Business Forum on the sidelines, is expected to address difficulties and provide specific solutions to enhance cooperation in various areas. The focus will be on economic, trade, and investment cooperation, industry, energy, science and technology, environmental protection, climate change mitigation, labour, and tourism.
Both sides also agreed to promote mutual investment, especially in collaborative projects, to achieve commitments to sustainable development, green growth, and environmental protection. — VNS