A number of Government and business-level cooperation deals are expected to be signed during an ongoing economic forum between Vietnam and Middle East and North African partners that opened in Hanoi on November 4.

They include agreements on double taxation avoidance, and investment encouragement and protection with the Palestinian Government, and memoranda of understanding on labour, social and farming links with the Sudanese Government.

During the two-day sitting, delegates will talk about how to create a business-friendly environment, and suggest ways to push forward cooperation in fields of each side’s strengths like energy, trade, mining, construction, infrastructure, labour, education-training, agriculture, culture and tourism.

Addressing the event, the Moroccan Minister in charge of Global Trade made it clear that the Middle East–North African countries wish to develop a sustainable comprehensive partnership with Vietnam.

The forum brought together representatives of 15 Middle East and North African nations, top Vietnamese local officials and leaders of about 250 Vietnamese enterprises under one roof.

Two-way trade between Vietnam and the region was 7.4 billion USD in 2012, an 878 percent increase from 2002 (889 million USD). Of which, Vietnam’s trade with some partners surpassed 1 billion USD per year.

Many businesses in the region are investing in Vietnam, especially in oil and gas, seaports, industry and property, while some Vietnamese enterprises have rolled out projects in Middle East-North Africa, notably an oil and gas exploration and production scheme by the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group in Algeria with a total capital of over 200 million USD.-VNA