Bilateral trade between Vietnam and Cambodia approximated 4.7 billion USD in 2018, up 23.8 percent year-on-year - Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Potential remains huge for economic cooperation between Vietnam and Cambodia, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai has affirmed.

Granting an interview to the Vietnam News Agency on the occasion of the Cambodia visit by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee and President Nguyen Phu Trong from February 25-26, Hai said that both Vietnam and Cambodia are dynamically developing countries in the region whose economic potential has yet to be tapped fully, opening up opportunities to further boost economic collaboration activities.

The two nations hold numerous similarities in culture, market demand and consumer habits, which can also make Vietnamese goods and services be easily welcomed in the Cambodian market.

Along with bilateral agreements, trade deals in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will help connect the two economies, Hai stated, suggesting the nations foster cooperation in consumer products, energy, mining, aquaculture, and forestry.

According to the deputy minister, economic and trade cooperation holds an important role in bilateral relations. Vietnam is currently Cambodia’s third largest trade partner, with two-way trade enjoying an average growth rate of 9.8 percent. Last year, bilateral trade approximated 4.7 billion USD, up 23.8 percent year-on-year, of which Vietnam’s exports hit 3.7 billion USD, up 35 percent, and imports were 963 million USD, down 6.5 percent.

Over the past years, the two nations have cooperated actively and effectively in bilateral economic and trade cooperation mechanisms, while coordinating with each other in multilateral mechanisms, building and completing important legal foundations in trade development such as the agreement to boost Vietnam-Cambodia bilateral trade.

Border infrastructure has been improved as well, thus creating favourable conditions for the two countries’ business communities and people living along the borderline to promote trade exchanges and investment attraction, Hai said.

Moreover, their agencies and localities have regularly organised meetings and stepped up delegation exchanges to intensify mutual understanding and increase the efficiency of solving difficulties in economic and trade collaboration, he added.

To better tap bilateral economic cooperation potential, Hai suggested both sides maintain an opener and more favourable business and investment environment, complete a legal framework for collaboration activities, and simplify administrative and investment procedures.

Both sides should promote the efficiency of bilateral cooperation mechanisms through the inter-Governmental Committee and working groups, and organise more trade fairs and conferences, he suggested, adding that it is also necessary to increase the role of the overseas Vietnamese community and Vietnamese businesses operating in Cambodia, considering them important channels to bolster trade and investment between the two countries.-VNA