Brazilian Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply Terresa Cristina Correa (centre) speaks at the business seminar in Hanoi on May 17 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – There remains much potential for expanding and diversifying trade between Vietnam and Brazil, and the countries’ governments should act to create conditions for that potential to be tapped into, said Brazilian Ambassador Fernando Apparicio da Silva.

At a Vietnam-Brazil business seminar in Hanoi on May 17, he said over the last 30 years, the countries have made important strides in their diplomatic relations. Many legal documents in other fields have been signed and taken effect. Leaders of Brazil and Vietnam have held regular meetings and discussions, helping to strengthen bilateral ties. 

The diplomat noted in 2018, bilateral trade reached 4.4 billion USD, making his country the 21st biggest trade partner of Vietnam. Trade deficit or surplus is not substantial at about 400 million USD, showing that their trade is relatively balanced.

To expand and diversify trade and capitalise on the huge potential, the two sides can open new markets, he said, adding that Brazil’s agricultural business has considerable competitiveness and the country is seeking opportunities to explore new markets.

The South American nation also has potential for supplying products of the aviation and defence industries, Ambassador Fernando Apparicio da Silva said.

At the event, Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son said bilateral ties date back to a long time before they officially set up the diplomatic relationship on May 8, 1989. Since this date, Vietnam-Brazil relations have been developing continually.

Bilateral trade surged 58-fold from 75 million USD in 2004 to 4.4 billion USD in 2018, making Brazil the top trade partner of Vietnam in Latin America. The countries’ businesses have also actively sought and grasped opportunities for investment, business and market expansion in the fields both sides have strength in like agriculture, aquaculture, manufacturing and bio-energy.

Particularly, agriculture is an important aspect as it boasts great potential for cooperation and the countries’ products are complementary, he noted.

Son added that Vietnam and Brazil have also coordinated closely and supported each other at international organisations and multilateral forums.-VNA