Potential, opportunities, and challenges of the economic cooperation between Vietnam and China came under the spotlight at a workshop in Beijing, China, on December 17 with a view to working out measures beefing up their ties in the field.

Addressing the event, Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Van Tho said the two countries have made considerable strides in their economic, trade, and investment relations despite some unsolved issues. They are also implementing a five-year plan on developing economic and commercial linkages for the 2012-2016 period.

By November 2014, two-way trade reached 53.41 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 26.1 percent. The two countries target a trade turnover of 60 billion USD in 2015.

Over the past years, China has always been Vietnam’s largest trade partner while Vietnam has become the second biggest ASEAN trade partner of China, after Indonesia. China now ranks ninth among countries and territories investing in the Southeast Asian nation with a total investment of 7.94 billion USD.

Both countries are also parties to several regional connectivity mechanisms which are shaping up such as the upgraded ASEAN-China Free Trade Area, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank initiative, Tho said.

During the workshop, held by the Vietnamese Embassy and the ASEAN-China Centre, participants shared the view that the two countries hold enormous potential and opportunities in economic and trade cooperation.

They pointed out to problems and challenges of their ties and stressed that the nations need to further bring into play their similarities and potential, reduce Vietnam’s excessive import of Chinese goods, improve the quality of investment cooperation, and build infrastructure in line with their development models and orientations.

Attendees also suggested the countries make use of development chances brought by bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements and regional connectivity.-VNA