|Delegation of Saudi businessmen at the forum. — VNS Photo Lê Việt Dũng|
HÀ NỘI — Given their longstanding diplomatic relationship and the mutually complementary nature of bilateral trade, Việt Nam and Saudi Arabia still have ample room for economic cooperation.
That was the remark made by Deputy Prime Minister Trần Lưu Quang at the Việt Nam - Saudi Arabia Business Forum on Monday.
He said Việt Nam was taking active measures to strengthen its relations with Islamic countries, including Saudi Arabia, and gain entry into their Halal markets.
Trade between Việt Nam and Saudi Arabia reached US$2.7 billion in 2022, up 32.4 per cent year-on-year. Many large Saudi companies continue to pour their money into the country, with an outstanding one being Zamil Steel, which has established itself as a significant player in the Vietnamese steel industry.
The Deputy PM put forward a four-pillar strategy to unlock the full potential of economic cooperation. These pillars include promoting the trade of Halal-compliant products and incentivising cross-market investments in food, energy, and high-tech sectors.
Mohammed Ismaeil A. Dahlwy, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Việt Nam, said more Saudi enterprises were paying attention to Việt Nam's markets. Notably, the Saudi Development Fund had financed more than 12 projects in the country that totalled $164 million.
On the Việt Nam's side, more Vietnamese enterprises were seeking opportunities to expand their businesses in Saudi Arabia.
"We are waiting for businesses from the two countries to unlock the enormous potential in the fields of trade, investment, tourism, labour, and technology," said the ambassador.
Nawaf Mohammed Al Zamil, Chairman of the Zamil Steel Holding Company, said Việt Nam was expected to receive a higher level of foreign investment in the years to come thanks to its stable business policies.
"Việt Nam's strategic location and competitive labour and production costs will make it one of the top investment destinations for manufacturers," said the chairman.
He also shared several pieces of advice to investors and entrepreneurs who were considering investing in the country.
He said the investors and entrepreneurs should understand the local business environment, seek local partnerships and advisers, establish a presence in the market and see returns on investment, and appreciate the cultural differences.
Đỗ Văn Sử, Deputy Director of the Foreign Investment Agency, Ministry of Planning and Investment, said Saudi investors were well-positioned to invest in Việt Nam in the fields of high-tech agriculture, renewable energy, and seafood.
"Saudi investors have tremendous working capital. They can put their money into the country through investment funds," said the deputy director.
He also said Saudi Arabia was the 79th largest investor in Việt Nam. Meanwhile, Vietnamese investors had yet to finance any project in the kingdom.
According to Nguyễn Trúc Sơn, Deputy Chairman of the Bến Tre Province, Saudi Arabia consumers have a strong appetite for the province's products, especially coconuts and seafood.
However, local exporters have some difficulties bringing their products to the market, which involves high transportation costs and stringent quality standards.
"Bến Tre's staple exports to Saudi Arabia comprise coconuts, textiles, and seafood," said the deputy chairman.
The exchange of MOUs between Riyadh Chamber and Vietnamese agencies was also taking place at the forum. — VNS