Qatari Minister of Economy and Trade Sheikh Mohamed Al-Thani has committed to raising two-way trade with Vietnam to 1 billion USD in the coming years.

He made the pledge at the Vietnam–Qatar economic cooperation forum in Doha, capital of Qatar on December 14, adding that Qatar is diversifying its economy so as to ease over-reliance on oil and gas.

Qatar has poured 4.5 billion USD into the Long Son petrochemical complex and raised its stakes in property projects in Vietnam. Two-way trade currently focuses on petroleum and gas, with Vietnam shipping wood and farm produce to Qatar, the minister said.

He expressed his hope that the booming demand for infrastructure will open up opportunities to Vietnamese constructors and human resource suppliers as Qatar is set to host World Cup in 2022.

Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc briefed the Qatari business community of Vietnam’s political and socio-economic situation, saying that the country is speeding up economic restructuring and shifting growth model, partly by fine-tuning legal regulations, including the law on public investment, corporate law and a decree on public-private partnership.

Vietnam will equitise over 430 State firms, including groups and corporations between now and late 2015. With the ASEAN Community taking shaping late next year, Vietnam is not only a key gateway of the Greater Sub-Mekong region but also a bridge linking up ASEAN economies together, he said.

Together with the World Trade Organisation commitments and 14 free trade agreements in force, Vietnam will form a key part of a wide-ranging economic network covering 55 nations and create an environment conducive to foreign firms operating in the nation, Phuc added.

Several Qatari businesses expressed their interest in buying rice, cashew nuts, and pepper, or in real estate ventures in Vietnam.

At the end of the forum, the Vietnam and Qatar Chambers of Commerce and Industry signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation.

During in Qatar, Phuc also attended the Vietnam Days with a multitude of cultural activities.-VNA