Hanoi products to re-enter East Europe via Czech Republic hinh anh 1Representatives of Hanoi and Czech firms discuss at the event (Photo: VNA)

Representatives of Hanoi apparel and footwear businesses met Czech entrepreneurs face-to-face in Prague on August 20 to seek opportunities to make inroads into East European markets via the Czech Republic after a long hiatus.

Opening the trade promotion workshop, Director of the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade Le Hong Thang noted the textile and garment industry is currently the second biggest hard currency earner of Vietnam, raking in over 20.7 billion USD last year and 10.2 billion USD in the first half of 2015.

Hanoi earned 11 billion USD in total shipments in 2014, including roughly 1.6 billion USD worth of textile and garments. Exports of these commodities to the European Union generated 436 million USD, which encouraged the Vietnamese capital city to participate in an international fashion fair in Brno city from August 22-24.

Thang said their visit to the Czech Republic was designed to seek import partners and material suppliers, noting that Hanoi companies imported more than 662.5 million USD of fabric, 125.6 million USD of fibre and 196 million USD of other materials last year.

Chairman of the Czech Republic-Vietnam Friendship Association Marcel Winter said Vietnam’s economy has grown rapidly and dynamically in recent years and has vast cooperation potential. Vietnamese firms produce a number of goods that suit Czech consumer tastes and have demand for quality machinery from the East European country.

Both Thang and Winter agreed that Hanoi apparel and footwear companies’, as well as Vietnamese firms’, return to traditional East European markets via the Czech Republic will benefit both countries.

In recent years, bilateral trade ties have seen positive growth but remain limited in relation to their potential.

Vietnam’s main exports to the Czech Republic include coffee, pepper, fresh and dried fruits, peanuts, green tea, rice, rubber, seafood, footwear, textiles, handicraft products and computer spare parts while importing machinery, chemicals, dairy products, pharmaceuticals and plastics.

The Czech Republic considers Vietnam one of the 12 highest potential markets with trade hitting 670 million USD in 2014.-VNA