The Vietnam-Czech business forum  (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnam-Czech business forum opened in Hanoi on June 6 in the presence of Czech President Milos Zeman, who is on a official visit to Vietnam.

Speaking at the event, co-organised by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic, and Czech Republic embassy in Vietnam, President Milos Zeman said as one of the minority ethnic groups in the Czech Republic, the 65,000 Vietnamese community have enjoyed all citizens’ rights equally granted by the country. 

He noted with pleasure Vietnam’s economic development over the past years with noted economic growth rate.   

The President, however, said he is regretful as there has not been any direct flight between Hanoi and Prague, which has hindered trade and tourism ties between the two countries. 

He also suggested Vietnam exempt visa for Czech residents in order to boost the bilateral tourism and trade links. 

Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue said the Vietnamese government wants to boost cooperation with the Czech Republic in diverse areas, including energy, mining, infrastructure and transport, mechanical engineering, environment, national defence industry, hospital equipment and vocational training.

Statistics showed that two-way trade between the two nations neared 250 million USD last year. In investment, the Czech Republic poured more than 100 million USD in 36 projects in Vietnam while Vietnam registered four projects worth 5 million USD in the Czech Republic, focusing on real estate.

Deputy PM Hue said such results are encouraging but yet to match each side’s potential.  

He expressed his belief that the Vietnam – European Union free trade agreement, which is expected to take effect in 2018, will be strategic to making a turning point in cooperative ties between Vietnam and the EU in general and Vietnam and the Czech Republic in particular.

According to VCCI Vice President Doan Duy Khuong, the Czech Republic is one of the strategic export markets of Vietnamese businesses. 

The Czech Republic is a gateway for Vietnamese goods to reach other European countries, while Vietnam can help Czech goods access the 600-million Southeast Asian market, he said. 

The forum has created an opportunity for the two countries’ businesses to exchange experience and expand the market.-VNA