The two-day event represents a space for networking and exchange on the ways and means for economic cooperation and development between Việt Nam and Middle East and African countries. -- Photo baoquocte.vn
HÀ NỘI – An international conference titled ‘Meet Ambassadors from the Middle East and Africa 2019’ will open today in Hà Nội.
Being held for the first time by the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the two-day event represents a space for networking and exchange on the ways and means for economic cooperation and development between Việt Nam and Middle East and African countries.
The Middle East – Africa region is a large market with more than 1.6 billion people and strong financial resources, especially in the Middle East, which offers lots of trade and investment potential.
Việt Nam has always attached great importance to maintaining and developing the traditional friendship and cooperation with other countries in the region. That good relationship is constantly being strengthened and developed which is shown in positive economic data.
To date, Việt Nam has established diplomatic relations with 69 of 70 countries in the Middle East – Africa region and has economic ties with all countries with two-way trade turnover of more than US$17.5 billion in 2018. This number represented a 300 per cent growth compared to 2008.
Vietnamese businesses have invested about $2.6 billion in this region and received more than $7 billion capital in form of foreign direct investment from these countries.
The two sides have also successfully set up many effective cooperation models including bilateral, tripartite and four-sided collaboration with support of a number of developed countries and international organisations.
Bright spots in economic cooperation between the two sides include agriculture, labour, telecommunication, healthcare and education.
Further deepening the cooperation with the Middle East – Africa region has always been one of the priorities in Việt Nam’s foreign policy. Việt Nam highly appreciates the important role and contribution of the diplomats and diplomatic missions of the Middle East – African countries in Việt Nam, as well as other international organisations to the achievements.
In that spirit, the event will be attended by the heads of the permanent resident and non-resident diplomat missions, honorary consulates of the Middle East - African countries in Việt Nam; representatives of some major development partners and international organisations such as the United Nations (UN), World Bank, European Union, Francophone International Organisation, JICA; Vietnamese officials from many ministries, sectors and localities; and businesses of the two sides.
The conference will hear the update on Việt Nam’s socio-economic development and major orientations in its foreign policy, especially Việt Nam’s highest priorities during its term as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2020-21.
Delegates will also focus on discussing key issues such as the situation of cooperation between Việt Nam and the Middle East - Africa region, including the collaboration between the Vietnamese ministries and sectors with diplomatic missions of the regional countries; ways and means to increase imports and exports between the two sides.
Especially, the possibility of opening a new model of cooperation in the agriculture sector and boosting cooperation in the telecommunication sector between Việt Nam and the region will be given special attention. These are two important fields of mutual interest.
Delegates will also have tours to the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences – the leading research unit in the agricultural and fishery sciences of Việt Nam and Viettel Group – a Vietnamese telecom company with extensive experience in doing business in Africa.
The event is meaningful with trade tensions rising and Vietnamese exports to traditional markets are gradually approaching the saturation point. Boosting trade cooperation with new markets such as Middle East - Africa is a necessary and achievable way for Vietnamese businesses to grow. – VNS