Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (Source: Reuters)
Hanoi (VNA) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on October 5 started a three-day State-level visit to Vietnam at the invitation of his Vietnamese counterpart Tran Dai Quang.

The visit aims to tighten cooperation between Iran and Vietnam. During the trip, the two sides will compare notes on measures to boost the bilateral collaboration in trade, investment, tourism and agriculture.

They will also discuss regional and international issues of shared concern.

The two countries have seen progress in relations since diplomatic ties were established on August 4, 1973. Iran opened its embassy in Hanoi in 1991, and the Vietnamese Embassy was established in Tehran in 1997.

In September 2009, the Vietnam – Iran Friendship Association was founded, aiming to enhance the two peoples’ friendship and mutual understanding, along with cooperation in economy, trade, science-technology, education-training, and culture.

With a population of over 80 million, Iran is a major Middle Eastern market for Vietnam, which in turn is a gateway to ASEAN markets for Iran.

Vietnam’s main exports to the Islamic Republic include aquatic products, rice, tea, coffee, pepper, cashew nuts, bamboo and rattan products, rubber and rubber products, plastic products, machinery, electronic components, and apparel.

Iran mostly ships petrochemical products, metal, wheat, and apparel and footwear materials to Vietnam.

Despite considerable potential, the countries’ economic partnership remains modest. Bilateral trade reached 106.7 million USD in 2015, including 77.2 million USD of Vietnamese exports. The figure was 54 million USD in the first half of 2016, including 35.3 million USD worth of shipments from Vietnam.-VNA