Việt Nam, UAE to begin negotiations for comprehensive economic partnership agreement

April 09, 2023 - 11:32
Việt Nam and UAE have signed a Ministerial Declaration on starting negotiations on a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) between the two nations.
The two sides at the meeting. — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyễn Hồng Diên and Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have signed a Ministerial Declaration on starting negotiations on a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) between the two nations right after Việt Nam completed its procedures.

The signing took place after a meeting between Diên and Al Zeyoudi during the Vietnamese minister's working visit to the UAE last week.

During the meeting, the Vietnamese official said the two countries can start their negotiations on CEPA after the draft terms of reference (TOR) of the agreement is agreed and approved by authorised agencies.

Diên spoke highly of opportunities that the CEPA can bring for both countries, in the context of Việt Nam having become a manufacturing hub for many important commodities in the region and the world, while the UAE has many strengths as a transshipment port and financial and logistics centre. The combination of strengths of the two sides will create a momentum for growth in their trade and investment ties in the coming time, he said.

The minister affirmed that the UAE is Việt Nam's largest trading partner in the Middle East - North Africa regions, noting that ample room remains for the two countries to tap the potential of their economies that have complementary strengths.

He suggested the two countries strengthen the exchange of all-level delegations and business delegations to explore cooperation opportunities, especially in the field of trade and investment.

Diên also proposed management agencies of Việt Nam and the UAE study and promote the establishment of a cooperation mechanism for Halal certification to facilitate the trade in agricultural products between the two countries.

Agreeing with the proposals of the Vietnamese official, Al Zeyoudi said his country wishes to expand economic cooperation with Việt Nam and always considers Việt Nam its important economic partner.

The UAE's leaders have also given instructions on starting negotiations on the CEPA as soon as Việt Nam completes procedures, he noted, adding not only the Ministry of Foreign Trade, but many ministries and sectors in charge of fields such as energy, industry, and logistics services of the UAE have all backed the negotiation, signing and implementation of the CEPA.

Also during the visit, Minister Diên held a meeting with the UAE's Minister of Energy and Infrastructure Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei.

Diên informed his host on Việt Nam's wish to cooperate more closely with the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure in not only traditional energy, but also new and renewable energy development.

He proposed that the two sides sign a new MoU on energy cooperation, adding that Việt Nam will create favourable conditions for UAE partners to cooperate with Việt Nam in oil and gas exploitation. He suggested considering the possibility of investing in building a centre for transshipment and storage of crude oil and petrochemical products in Việt Nam to provide for the Asian region.

Diên also asked the UAE side to study investment opportunities in power transmission infrastructure in Việt Nam and support Việt Nam in training human resources in this field.

Agreeing with Diên’s proposals, Al Mazrouei stressed that there is great potential for the two countries to step up their cooperation.

The UAE has been researching, negotiating and signing many FTAs with important partners like Việt Nam, he said, adding that the UAE government hopes the two countries can sign an FTA this year.

The UAE wants to partner with Việt Nam in the fields of power transmission, power generation, food security, healthcare, infrastructure, construction, and port management, the official said. — VNS