VN, UAE aim to raise bilateral trade to $10b

May, 12/2016 - 01:00

Việt Nam and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) agreed to increase trade promotion activities, facilitate market access and intensify ties between the Vietnamese and UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Phạm Bình Minh (right) receives United Arab Emirates Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan on his official visit to Việt Nam. – VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Khang
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI – Việt Nam and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) agreed to increase trade promotion activities, facilitate market access and intensify ties between the Vietnamese and UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

The information was announced during the Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh’s reception for visiting UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan, yesterday.

The move aims to raise two-way trade to US$10 billion in the next few years from the current $6.2 billion.

Deputy PM Minh also wished for more UAE’s investment in the areas of oil and gas, infrastructure, agriculture, climate change, metallurgy, renewable energy, construction materials and Halal food manufacturing, towards making the UAE the largest Middle East investor in Việt Nam.

“As one of South East Asia’s fastest growing economies, Việt Nam provides attractive business and investment opportunities,” Nahyan said ahead of his visit. “As such, Việt Nam is high on the Dubai Exports’s 2016 agenda, which focuses on expanding markets and increasing knowledge sharing with priority countries.”

He noted that a number of major UAE companies have entered into partnerships with Vietnamese companies on large joint venture projects in the infrastructure, residential, and tourism sectors. For example, Dubai’s Emaar Properties and Việt Nam’s Bitexco Group are currently undertaking a $1.34 billion project to build a new urban area in HCM City.

“The UAE is confident that this trading and investment relationship will continue to grow stronger,” the UAE minister said.

The Vietnamese side presented a list of Việt Nam’s major projects in need of capital and preferential credit.

Both sides were committed to extending joint work across the potential fields of labour, security, energy, banking, tourism and farming.

During their talks, Minh and his guest also affirmed their determination to further foster friendly coordination via increased exchanges at all levels, regular political consultation between the two foreign ministries and mutual support at regional and global forums and organisations.

Deputy PM Minh proposed the UAE help Việt Nam with opening bonded warehouse centres in the UAE and establishing a Halal Certification Centre in Việt Nam, making it easier for Vietnamese halal food exporters to access Islamic markets.

Both Việt Nam and the UAE have young populations and seek to focus on economic prosperity that is environmentally sustainable, as well as to foster societies that are equitable and inclusive.

During a reception for Nahyan yesterday, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc encouraged UAE firms to invest in renewable energy, hotel, tourism, infrastructure, seaports, aviation, real estate and farm produce production in Việt Nam.

He also urged the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) to promptly respond to Việt Nam’s call for official development assistance (ODA) in several projects, adding that he hopes the UAE will welcome more Vietnamese labourers to work at its medical facilities.

On the occasion, the PM also conveyed his invitation to his UAE counterpart Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum and President Trần Đại Quang’s invitation to the UAE President to visit Việt Nam.

Minister Nahyan, for his part, said the UAE wants to boost multifaceted co-operation with Việt Nam, particularly in labour.

The guest suggested both sides provide the best conditions for the private sectors in the two countries.

The UAE will actively consider Việt Nam’s projects in need of ODA, he stated.

Firms connect to boost profits

Yesterday, at an economic forum in Hà Nội, Phạm Bình Đàm, Vietnamese ambassador to the UAE, said that trade between the two countries would grow another 20 to 22 per cent this year.

The forum, hosted by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoIT) attracted the participation of more than 150 firms from both countries.

Trần Quang Huy, general director of MoIT’s South East Asia and Africa Market Department, said the forum was a boost to the relationship and a chance to connect firms from two countries.

Phạm Trung Nghĩa, commercial counselor and head of Việt Nam’s Trade Office in Dubai, added that the major imports to the UAE included pepper, rice and coffee, followed by electronics and computer spare parts, textiles and garments, shoes and footwear, and aquatic products.

Counselor Nghĩa said Việt Nam agricultural products were more and more winning the hearts of UAE consumers, with Vietnamese dragon fruit dominant in the UAE market. Vietnamese bananas and pineapples were also increasingly being ordered from the country.

Đàm said UAE investors, especially those involved in luxury hospitality and real estate development, would benefit from the rising tourism in Việt Nam, with its beautiful beaches and other natural sites. Last year, Việt Nam reported 57 million local visitors and eight million foreign visitors to the country.

Đàm said the strong wave of UAE investment in Việt Nam in the 2006-07 period, which was disrupted by the 2008 global financial crisis, now showed signs of recovery, especially when low oil prices were pushing Middle East investors to seek other channels of investment in Asia.

The ambassador said, “Now is the right time for such investments,” adding that Việt Nam with its increasing middle class preferred luxury resorts and services for their holidays.

Also, well-known for its renewable energy, UAE was seeking to invest in solar power plants in Việt Nam. Đàm said, on the occasion that it had found potential cooperation with some local provinces. Currently, UAE has invested over $2 billion in a thermal power plant in the northern province of Nam Định.

In response, Saed Al Awadi, CEO of the Dubai Export Development Corporation told Vietnamese firms at the forum that they should not consider the UAE as a single market. With about 80 million visitors to Dubai every year, it was a regional hub where products would be transferred and seen by people from all around the world.

According to the Dubai Export Plan for 2016, they will host ten exhibitions dedicated mainly to the construction and food sectors with a focus on non-oil markets in Europe, Africa and Asia. In the plan, Vietnam and Cambodia were representatives for Asia.

In the Gulfood Exhibition 2016 in Dubai in February, Vietnamese dairy firm Vinamilk won a $12.5 million contract to export powdered milk for babies to the UAE. —VNS