Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam and Bulgaria should promote co-operation in trade and investment, especially in hi-tech agriculture, enabling Vietnamese products to access the Bulgarian market, said Deputy Prime Minister Vương Đình Huệ in Hà Nội on Tuesday.
Speaking at a meeting with Bulgarian Minister of Economy Emil Karanikolov, who is on a working visit to Việt Nam from Monday to Friday, Huệ said the two countries’ trade co-operation was developing but two-way trade had only reached about US$100 million a year.
Huệ also asked Bulgaria to support the implementation of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and organise the 24th session of the Việt Nam-Bulgaria Inter-Government Committee on Economic and Scientific-Technical Cooperation, working on specific measures on trade and industry policies in order to boost economic co-operation in the future.
Minister Emil Karanikolov said the Bulgarian Government attached great importance to the socio-economic achievements made by Việt Nam over the past 30 years (1986-2016), the period of Việt Nam’s đổi mới (renewal).
With the co-operation mechanism between the two countries, the minister said Bulgaria wanted to be a gateway for Vietnamese goods to enter Europe.
On the same day, Karanikolov also attended the Việt Nam – Bulgaria Business Forum in the capital. More than 20 Bulgarian businesses and Vietnamese enterprises attended the event to exchange experiences and seek co-operation opportunities to develop businesses in the two countries.
At the meeting, Karanikolov said Bulgaria was willing to support specific initiatives for business and co-operation with Vietnamese enterprises to promote trade and investment between the two countries.
He said Bulgaria was positioned as a strategic gateway connecting the European market to the Mediterranean and Asian countries. Therefore, it would create best conditions for Vietnamese enterprises to open warehouses and develop exports in Bulgaria before reaching out to the EU market.
Bulgaria is considered one of the most attractive destinations for trade and investment in Europe, with tax rates and operating costs at the lowest level in the EU. Vietnamese businesses should take advantage of these opportunities, said the minister.
According to Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Cao Quốc Hưng, 2017 trade turnover between the two countries reached $109.16 million, of which Việt Nam’s exports to Bulgaria reached $38.36 million.
In the first eight months of 2018, two-way trade turnover reached over $55 million, of which Việt Nam’s exports to Bulgaria reached $21.6 million.
In investment co-operation, Bulgaria ranks 65th out of 129 countries and territories investing directly in Việt Nam, with nine FDI projects in operation and total registered capital of $30.99 million.
“These results in trade and investment are modest and do not match the potential and expectations of the two sides,” said Hưng.
Karanikolov said Bulgaria would help Vietnamese businesses to invest in information technology, agriculture, services, transportation and tourism, especially in the country’s industrial parks and high-tech zones.
On the day same, the Bulgarian delegation worked with the Minister of Industry and Trade Trần Tuấn Anh and leaders from Hà Nội’s People’s Committee and the Việt Nam Oil and Gas Group and achieved many positive results to develop co-operation and investment. — VNS