Conference seeks to drive Vietnam - Latvia trade hinh anh 1A wood factory in Vietnam. Wood products are among Vietnam's main exports to Latvia. (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade) is holding an online business-to-business conference to seek ways for bolstering trade with Latvia.

In 2021, bilateral trade increased 2 percent year on year to around 240.7 million USD, with Vietnam exporting 219.24 million USD and importing 21.46 million USD worth of goods, respectively up 4.4 percent and down 17.9 percent.

The trade turnover stood at 66.7 million USD in the first quarter of 2022, statistics show.

Edmunds Valantis, State Secretary at the Latvian Ministry of Economics, highlighted the great strides in bilateral relations over the past years, especially in the trade of agro-fishery products, wood items, apparel, and footwear, noting that Vietnam’s participation in free trade agreements has positively affected their trade ties.

Latvia is the largest Baltic economic partner of Vietnam, which in turn is also the biggest ASEAN partner of the European nation, Phan Dang Duong, Vietnamese Ambassador to Sweden and Latvia, told the event being held on May 31 and June 1.

Vietnam wishes to further enhance partnerships with Latvia in economy, trade, investment, education - training, labour, and tourism, he said, stressing that with common efforts, new opportunities will be opened up for their enterprises to tighten links in all the fields they are strong at after a two-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vietrade Director Vu Ba Phu noted the Ministry of Industry and Trade hopes to welcome a Latvian business delegation to come to seek cooperation chances, especially in digital transformation, artificial intelligence, information technology, and the wood industry.

Latvia holds a strategic geographical location for business activities between the EU and emerging markets situated to its east. It is like a gateway linking the US and the EU with Asia and, especially, Russia.

Vietnam and Latvia boast sound cooperation over the three decades of their diplomatic ties, but bilateral trade remains modest, Phu pointed out.

He added Vietnam’s main exports to this country include seafood, cashew nut, coffee, peppercorn, plastic products, bamboo, rattan and wood items, apparel, and footwear. Meanwhile, Latvia has sold rubber, wood products, textile - garment materials, machinery, and medicine to the Southeast Asian country./.