|Between January and May this year Chilean exports to Viet Nam reached $149.1 million, while imports from Viet Nam were $126 million. — VNA Photo
HA NOI (VNS) — Total trade turnover between Viet Nam and Chile reached US$560 million in 2013, said Fernanado Urrutia, Chilean Ambassador to Viet Nam.
Urrutia was speaking at a workshop on free trade between the two countries in Ha Noi yesterday.
Bilateral trade reached $560 million in 2013, 55 per cent in favour of Chile. Trade volume has been growing steadily.
The Ambassador said that when he first arrived in 2010, the volume was only $334 million, 69 per cent in favour of Chile.
According to statistics from the Chilean Trade Commission, known as ProChile, between January and May this year Chilean exports to Viet Nam reached $149.1 million, while imports from Viet Nam were $126 million.
This was a trade increase of 19.2 per cent compared to the same period last year.
A Free Trade Agreement that took effect on January 1 created new business opportunities for both sides and made it easier to access other markets within each region.
The agreement covers more than 9,000 products. For Chile, it was important to trade beef, pork, dairy products and fruit.
The FTA is focused on the trade of goods, leaving negotiations about services and investments to a second stage.
According to the agreement, Viet Nam will remove 87.8 per cent of tax for Chilean products over 15 years, while Chile is committed to removing tax on 99.62 per cent of Vietnamese exports by 2017.
Viet Nam is the second biggest trading partner for Chile in South-east Asia. Jaime Rivera, Chilean Trade Commissioner and co-ordinator of ASEAN markets, said Chile wanted to use Viet Nam as a platform to access Laos and Cambodia.
Chile is strong in the production and export of minerals, food, timber, seafood and wine.
ProChile statistics of export turnover of Chilean goods to Viet Nam between 2012-13 show a remarkable increase. The export turnover of dried fruit rose by 2,635 per cent, king crabs by 53 per cent, pharmaceuticals by 58 per cent, seabass by 36 per cent, spare parts for building by 24 per cent, salmon and trout by 23 per cent - and fresh grapes by 20 per cent.
Chile has trade agreements with all other countries in Latin America. That is it is considered as as a natural gateway for Viet Nam.
Compared to Viet Nam's other FTA partners, Chile is furthest away, but their economies supplement each other, said Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry's World Trade Centre director.
The capitalisation of Chile's FTAs with Malaysia, Viet Nam and Thailand is one of its main objectives in the ASEAN region.
"In these particular markets, we expect to grow at a rates over 20 per cent in goods that exclude copper," said Rivera.
The workshop was organised by the Embassy of Chile, the Chilean Promotion Bureau (ProChile) and the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI). — VNS