Scene at the business conference (Photo: VNA)

Prague (VNA) – A businesses conference promoting partnerships between Vietnamese and Czech companies took place in Prague on October 11.

At the conference, Vietnamese Ambassador to the Czech Republic Ho Minh Tuan said the two countries’ traditional diplomatic relations lay a firm foundation for their increased cooperation, particularly in economy and trade.

Bilateral trade rose from 775 million USD in 2015 to 912.5 million USD in 2016 and 1.02 billion USD in 2017. The figure is expected to reach 1.2 billion USD this year.

The diplomat also noted that economic and commercial cooperation between the sides is short of their potential and there is a significant trade imbalance.

In the first seven months of 2018, bilateral trade hit 681 million USD, of which Czech export value to Vietnam was close to 94 million USD, much below the figure for Vietnamese exports to the country. 

As of April 2018, the Czech Republic had 36 projects worth 110 million USD in Vietnam, while Vietnam invested about 5 million USD in four projects in the European nation.

Tuan said the conference is an opportunity for the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Czech Federation of Industry & Transport to exchange market information and put forth measures to step up bilateral trade and investment.

Agreeing with Tuan, Stanislav Kazecky, Vice President of the Czech federation, highlighted energy, construction and mechanical engineering as potential sectors for collaboration between the two countries.

He said Czech firms want to recruit skilled Vietnamese workers, adding that his federation has advised the Czech government to issue a favourable visa policy for Vietnamese labourers.

He said during their trade and investment transactions, Vietnamese and Czech enterprises will receive support from major Czech banks, including the Czech Export Bank, to access preferential loans and flexible mechanisms.-VNA