Hanoi-based Dong Phat Joint Stock Company's factory produces cotton fibre for export to China (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – A seminar was held in Ho Chi Minh City on June 28 to seek ways to further boost trade between Vietnam and China, including between HCM City and Shandong province, which are said to have great potential for stronger cooperation.

Nguyen The Hung, Deputy Director of the HCM City branch of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI-HCM), said economic and trade ties between the two countries have grown fruitfully over the past years and China is currently the biggest trade partner of Vietnam. Bilateral trade reached 71.6 billion USD in 2016, including nearly 22 billion USD of Vietnam’s exports.

Vietnam mainly ships crude oil, coal, computers and components, rubber, rice, vegetables, fruits and aquatic products to China, while importing machinery, equipment, spare parts, apparel and footwear materials, steel and fertilizer from the country.

Hung said HCM City is a strategic economic centre of Vietnam and an attractive destination for foreign enterprises, including those from China. With dynamism and a big population, the city is also a potential consumption market.

The VCCI-HCM and the administration of Shandong’s Qingdao city also signed a memorandum of understanding on economic cooperation which will be a foundation for the two localities to boost bilateral trade and investment in the years ahead, Hung added.

Wong Chen Wei, a representative of Deloitte Vietnam, said Vietnam has offered a number of incentives for foreign investors. Favourable conditions have been also provided for businesses operating in the prioritised fields such as the supporting and hi-tech industries, auto assembly, electronics, leather-footwear and textiles-garment.

These are advantages that help the country attracts much attention from foreign investors, including those from China, he said.

Zhai Luning, vice president of the Shandong provincial Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, said Vietnam is an important economic and trade partner of China in general and Shandong in particular. The trade value between Vietnam and Shandong amounted to 28.5 billion USD in 2016.

Zhai told participants that Shandong is one of the most developed provinces in China, and it holds advantages in producing machinery, steel, equipment and agricultural products, but has high demand for electronics, fresh and dried fruits, rubber, oil and gas from Vietnam.

With mutually-complementary advantages, Shandong and Vietnam, and HCM City in particular, still have much potential for stronger cooperation and increased trade in the coming time, she added.-VNA