Taiwanese firms which have been investing in Vietnam for more than 30 years continue to believe the country is a good investment destination, Taiwan's external trade agency has said.

Speaking at the 18th Joint Business Council between the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the Chinese International Economic Co-operation Association in HCM City on Oct. 4, Shi Hui Huang, chairman of the latter, said Vietnam could also act as a gateway to ASEAN markets for Taiwanese firms.

Vietnamese entrepreneurs and executives from 50 Taiwanese businesses in the insurance, automobile parts, food, cosmetics, health, furniture, electricity, printing, and other sectors took part in the meeting.

A 70-strong Taiwanese trade delegation headed by Shi has been in Vietnam since September 28.

Hoang Van Dung, deputy chairman of the VCCI, said Taiwan -Vietnam economic relations had developed strongly in recent times, while Taiwan was one of Vietnam's major trade partners.

By the end of July, trade between the two sides had topped 6 billion USD, of which Vietnam's imports, mainly of petrol, plastics and steel, were worth 5.1 million USD. Vietnam exported textile, rubber, and seafood worth 960 million USD to Taiwan, a 22 percent increase year-on-year.

As of last December, Taiwan was the largest investor in Vietnam with 23 billion USD in 2,146 projects.

Some 100,000 Vietnamese guest workers are currently in Taiwan.

The Taipei Economics and Cultural Office in Hanoi said Vietnam has political stability and cultural similarities with Taiwan.

It called on Vietnam to improve its infrastructure and offer investment incentives to foreign investors, including Taiwanese.

The office has been a steady supporter of efforts to promote trade between the two sides, organising trade missions and business trips, including those by delegations from Nam Dinh, Long An, Nghe An and the Mekong Delta to Taiwan. /.