|Mackerel are processed at Tho Quang Seafood Processing and Exporting JSC. Viet Nam and Kazakhstan eye closer economic co-operation, and seafood is among the sectors that show trade potential. — VNA/VNS Photo An Dang
HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam and Kazakhstan see potential for closer economic co-operation, participants agreed at a conference held at the Viet Nam Academy of Social Sciences yesterday.
Medet Makulzhanov, the Counsellor of the Kazakhstan Embassy in Viet Nam, said that Kazakhstan prioritises co-operation with Asia as part of its multi-lateral economic relation policies.
"We have already implemented a master plan for industrial development and are calling for foreign direct investment (FDI) into projects amounting to more than US$40 billion. We expect to see joint ventures with Vietnamese enterprises," remarked Aibek Smadiyarov, the Second Secretary of the Embassy.
Aibek claimed the Central Asian country wants to boost investment activities with Viet Nam in such areas as telecommunications, tourism, seaports, and oil and gas.
He added that while Viet Nam has invested some $24 million in Kazakhstan, increasing trade value between the two countries would form the basis for further co-operation. The bilateral trade turnover rose from $38.2 million in 2010 to nearly $272 million in 2014.
"The transaction values remain small, but the growth rate is significant, thus we can be confident in the potential for trade," said Pham Thi Ngoc Bich, the deputy director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Europe Department.
Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vice Chairman Doan Duy Khuong noted that strong foundations exist that could accelerate co-operation efforts to achieve these potential gains.
A direct air route connecting Viet Nam and Kazakhstan, established after the two countries signed an aviation transport agreement in 2013, has significantly facilitated trade and tourism.
Viet Nam also concluded negotiations for a free-trade agreement with the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia last December. This will open up new opportunities in foreign trade for farm produce, seafood, garments and textiles, and footwear, as well as furniture, machinery and transport vehicles.
"The ASEAN Economic Community will officially be established in 2015, and boosting co-operation with Viet Nam means fostering accession to the ASEAN market with a population of over 600 million," asserted Khuong. "The benefits are great, and we welcome Kazakhstan investors to Viet Nam."
Kazakhstan Ambassador to Viet Nam Beketzhan Zhumakhanov noted that Kazakhstan also wants to join hands with Viet Nam in developing the sciences, healthcare, education and culture. These are in line with Kazakhstan's new economic policies that aim at implementing economic structural reforms, stimulating small and medium-sized enterprises, and creating more jobs for the people.
Second Secretary Abek said Kazakhstan aims to create a more advantageous investment environment while the country is preparing to join the World Trade Organisation.
The FDI capital poured into Kazakhstan alone by the European Union has reached some $92.7 billion, with the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Italy and France being the major investors, according to Counsellor Medet. — VNS