Participants in the Vietnam-Indonesia trade, tourism and invesment promotion forum in Da Nang city (Photo: laodong.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) – A forum has been held in the central city of Da Nang to seek ways to bolster trade, investment and tourism links between Vietnam and Indonesia.

The two countries set up the strategic partnership in June 2013. 

Indonesia is currently the fourth biggest trade partner of Vietnam in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It is also known as an open market with great attractiveness to Vietnamese businesses.

Addressing the forum on August 5, Vice Chairman of the Da Nang People’s Committee Ho Ky Minh said over the past years, the city has issued preferential policies and mechanisms to attract investment, promote trade and expand economic exchange with foreign partners. As a result, it has obtained considerable achievements, including the continuously improved investment climate and competitiveness.

Da Nang has topped the central and Central Highlands regions in terms of trading activities. In 2018, it recorded 1.6 billion USD in exports and 1.4 billion USD in imports, respectively growing 12.2 percent and 8.6 percent annually between 2011 and 2018.

However, the city’s shipments to Indonesia remain modest, about 300,000 USD each year, with handicrafts, rubber products and toys as the main items. Meanwhile, the imports from the archipelago nation, mainly apparel materials, are about 3 million USD each year, according to the official.

Trading activities between Da Nang and Indonesia have yet to match potential, Minh said, highlighting the need to increase trade, tourism and investment promotion between the two sides’ businesses.

At the event, Indonesian Ambassador Ibnu Hadi said Vietnam is a key market of his country, which has had 33 businesses operating here. Particularly, Vietnam, including Da Nang, has become an increasingly popular destination for Indonesian tourists.

Two direct air routes have been launched to connect the two countries, creating good chances for tourism enhancement, he said, voicing his hope for stronger cooperation in this field so as to raise the number of Indonesian visitors to Vietnam to 100,000 and attract a similar number of Vietnamese tourists to his country.

According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, nearly 75,700 Vietnamese visited Indonesia in 2018, accounting for less than 1 percent of the travellers making overseas trips. Meanwhile, over 87,900 Indonesians chose Vietnam as their holiday destination. -VNA