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Viet Nam, Egypt need to improve trade links

Update: May, 31/2014 - 09:39
Cashew nuts being sorted for export by workers of Viet Ha Cashew Co in Binh Duong Province. Egyptian businesses have been urged to import more Vietnamese goods such as agricultural products and seafood. — VNA/VNS Photo Chi Tuong

ALEXANDRIA (VNS)— The bilateral relations between Viet Nam and Egypt, especially in trade, investment and tourism, have failed to match the potential and expectations of the two nations.

Viet Nam's Ambassador to Egypt Dao Thanh Chung said this at a conference in Alexandria on Thursday. Although both sides have signed several cooperation agreements, many of them are yet to be implemented effectively, he said, adding that last year, the two-way trade totalled only US$240 million. The first quarter of this year also saw a modest $86 million-bilateral trade, with much of it coming from Vietnamese exports, he noted.

At the forum, which was attended by 20 Egyptian firms, Chung called on the business communities in the two nations to strengthen the exchange of information and cooperation opportunities for their mutual benefit.

He suggested that the firms should improve mutual trust and work more closely in removing obstacles in an attempt to increase bilateral trade to $500 million in the near future.

The ambassador said Viet Nam is a promising destination for Egyptian enterprises as it has a large and accessible market with a population of nearly 90 million.

He added that Egypt could export cotton, fertilisers, pharmaceuticals and chemicals to Viet Nam, while importing major Vietnamese goods such as agricultural products, seafood and commodities.

During the event, Vietnamese trade counsellor in Egypt Pham The Cuong also answered the questions of local businesses related to various areas, including agro-forestry and fisheries.

Both sides agreed to set up a link on the situation of the Vietnamese market on the website of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce. — VNS

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