Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong (R) presents a gift to UAE Ambassador Obaid Saeed Al Dhaheri at the meeting on July 4 (Photo: thanhuytphcm.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) – Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong had a meeting on July 4 with Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Vietnam Obaid Saeed Al Dhaheri to discuss cooperation opportunities between the two sides, especially in economy.

At the event, they highly valued recent positive strides in relations between the UAE and Vietnam, including HCM City.

The UAE diplomat said Vietnam is a beautiful country, and HCM City boasts huge potential for tourism development.

He shared Phong’s view that there remain enormous potential for tourism cooperation between the two sides. However, Vietnam’s tourism promotion in the UAE remains modest.

The ambassador expressed his hope for more direct flights so as to increase the number of UAE visitors to Vietnam and vice versa. He also expected stronger collaboration with tourism and trade agencies to popularise HCM City as a destination in the region.

For his part, Phong said HCM City is calling for foreign investment in such fields as urban infrastructure, smart city building, seaport and renewable energy so as to develop it into a trade centre of the region.

The chairman pledged that concrete policies will be issued to attract investors from the Middle East.

He asked the Foreign Ministry of the UAE to open a consulate general as well as trade and tourism offices in HCM City and other Vietnamese localities in order to create more chances for bilateral partnership.

Trade between Vietnam and the UAE now stands at 276 million USD a year, which is too low compared to the cooperation potential, the official noted, voicing his belief that with the ambassador’s support, bilateral ties will develop more strongly.-VNA