|VCCI's chairman Đoàn Duy Khương speaks at the forum. — Photo thoibaotaichinhvietnam.vn|
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam and Latvia have maintained close diplomatic relations, however, trade relations are not commensurate with the potential of the two countries.
The statement was made by the vice chairman of the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), Đoàn Duy Khương, at the Việt Nam-Latvia Business Forum held in Hà Nội on Wednesday.
In 2017, Việt Nam and Latvia celebrated 25 years of diplomatic relations with important achievements in all fields of politics - diplomacy, economy - trade, security - defence, science - technology, education - training, culture and tourism. The two sides also regularly support each other at international forums.
Regarding trade, the two countries have made positive progress in recent years, according to VCCI’s representative.
Currently, Việt Nam is Latvia's largest trading partner in Southeast Asia and Latvia is also Việt Nam's largest trading partner among the Baltic countries with bilateral turnover in 2018 of US$186.1 million, up ten times compared with 2010.
The proportion of imports from Việt Nam accounts for about 0.86 per cent of Latvia's total imports.
In particular, Việt Nam's main export products to this market are machinery, electronic equipment and mechanical parts, which account for 90 per cent, while the rest is made up of agricultural products, aquatic products, textiles and footwear.
Việt Nam mainly imports rubber, wood products, textile materials, shoes, machinery and equipment from Latvia.
However, Khương added, enterprises of the two countries do not have much information about each other's investment and business environment, as well as little opportunity to contact and create trust in business, thus, two-way trade relations are still modest.
At the forum, representatives of the two countries introduced market information and connected Vietnamese businesses with Latvian businesses operating in the fields of information technology; wood processing; chemicals and pharmaceuticals; heating and cooling technologies; marketing and consulting.
According to VCCI’s vice chairman, the potential of trade and investment cooperation between Việt Nam and Latvia is still very high. The organisation of the Việt Nam-Latvia Business Forum will create a bridge for businesses of the two countries to understand each other, thereby increasing trade.
The event is in the framework of the visit of the Latvian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs to Việt Nam, in order to strengthen cooperation between Vietnamese and Latvian enterprises. — VNS