Czech Environment Minister Richard Brabec speaks at the Czech-Vietnamese Business Forum in HCM City on November 21. — VNS Photo
HCM CITY — The Czech Republic seeks to boost co-operation with Việt Nam in a range of sectors like energy, infrastructure, transport, environment, medical equipment, and nano- and bio-technologies, its Environment Minister has said.
Speaking at the Czech-Vietnamese Business Forum in HCM City on November 21, Richard Brabec said he also sees great opportunities in mining, financial services, insurance, food processing, and information and communications technology.
Bilateral trade is not commensurate with the potential, he said.
Võ Tấn Thành, director of the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s HCM City branch, said the Czech Republic is a strategic export market for Vietnamese businesses.
Bilateral trade was worth over US$298 million last year after rising by 16 per cent, of which Việt Nam’s exports were worth nearly $156.5 million, he said.
Việt Nam’s main exports include mobile phones and accessories, footwear, seafood, garments, coffee, pepper, fruits, tea, rice, rubber, handicrafts and computer accessories, he said.
Its imports include chemicals, computers, electronic products, machinery, spare parts, plastic and glassware, he said.
In terms of investment, as of April this year, Czech enterprises had invested nearly $90.3 million in Việt Nam while Vietnamese firms have invested over $5 million in the Czech Republic, he said.
The two countries have also enhanced co-operation in sectors such as education and training, defence and labour, he said.
“The two countries have set a bilateral trade target of $1 billion in the coming time.”
Brabec said his country "wants to boost exports to Việt Nam to reduce the trade deficit", and expressed the belief that the EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement, which is expected to take effect next year, would bring new trade opportunities.
A direct air service between Hà Nội and Prague expected to begin in 2020 would further promote trade and tourism ties between the countries, he said.
Việt Nam is seeking new technologies to underpin its economic growth, and this offers good opportunities to Czech firms, he said.
Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Võ Tuấn Nhân said Việt Nam has adopted policies for developing its economy sustainably.
In addition to the garment and textile, agricultural processing, auto, aviation, and pharmaceutical industries, the two countries also have great potential in innovating technologies for environmental protection and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, he said.
Brabec said heads of large Czech businesses in various sectors and schools and research institutes accompanying him to Việt Nam are keen on the Vietnamese market.
The Czech Republic is a gateway to Europe for Vietnamese goods, while Việt Nam could help Czech goods access the 600-million Southeast Asian market, he added.
The forum was organised by the Czech embassy in Việt Nam, the Czech Federation of Industries, the VCCI, and Tôn Đức Thắng University.
The minister is visiting Việt Nam from November 20 to 22. — VNS