Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai (R) and Horacio Reyser, Secretary for International Economic Relations at the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship (Photo: VNA)

Buenos Aires (VNA) – The Vietnam-Argentina Inter-governmental Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation held its 6th meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on October 25 and 26.

The meeting was co-chaired by Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai and Horacio Reyser, Secretary for International Economic Relations at the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship.

Speaking at the meeting, Reyser expressed his delight at positive progress in bilateral relations and highlighted the importance of the Argentina-Vietnam comprehensive partnership. The regular exchange of working delegations to boost trade collaboration is evidence of the enhancement of the bilateral relationship, he said.

Reyser said after the committee’s fifth meeting held in Hanoi in 2016 and its mid-term meeting in Buenos Aires in October 2017, the closer bilateral cooperation has been fostered via the joint implementation of some technical projects.

The official said Argentina sent a multi-sector business delegation to accompany Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship Jorge Faurie during his visit to Vietnam in a bid to improve existing dialogue channels between the two countries and discover new collaboration opportunities in the fields of pharmaceuticals, bio-technology, medical machines, food (particularly poultry and beef), seafood, and fruits.

Based on the unanimous agreement, the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) is willing to begin a pre-feasibility dialogue with Vietnam towards negotiations on a free trade agreement between Mercosur and Vietnam, he said.

As a member of Mercosur, Argentina will update information for Vietnam on the bloc’s stance on the matter, he added.

For his part, Hai said the friendship and multifaceted cooperation between Vietnam and Argentina have been continuously strengthened and developed since the two nations established diplomatic ties 45 years ago. Several agreements were signed in the spheres of economy, trade, investment, agriculture, and science-technology, he said.

Hai said in the past time, the two countries have worked closely in conducting technical cooperation projects within the framework of the Argentine Fund for South-South and Triangular Cooperation (FOAR), with positive and beneficial outcomes recorded. Vietnam and Argentina have also step up partnership in culture, tourism, sports, and education, particularly Spanish language teaching.

To boost bilateral trade and investment and comprehensive cooperation across fields, he suggested the two countries enhance the sharing of information and increase the exchange of business delegations, trade-investment promotions, and cultural exchanges.

The Deputy Minister recommended the two sides prioritise allocating resources for trade transactions, particularly trade balance, and joint hands to increase the diversity of traded goods.

At the meeting, the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Argentine Investment and Trade Promotion Agency (AAICI) signed a memorandum of understanding on facilitating bilateral trade and investment promotion activities.

Argentina is now the second biggest trade partner of Vietnam in Latin America, while Vietnam is the fifth trade partner of Argentina in the global market. In 2017, bilateral trade hit 3.03 billion USD. Argentina is investing in four projects worth 284,000 USD in Vietnam, ranking 106 out of 129 foreign investors in the country.-VNA