Making garment for export at a factory. Apparel is among key exports of Vietnam to Argentina. (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - Vietnam and Argentina hold potential to push bilateral trade to 5 billion USD in the next few years, heard a commercial exchange event in Ho Chi Minh City on June 4.

The event was co-organised by the Argentina Federal Investment Council and the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Speaking at the event, Argentinean Ambassador to Vietnam Juan Carlos Valle Raleigh said Vietnam is a strategic partner that Argentine businesses want to boost commercial cooperation.

According to the diplomat, the two countries elevated bilateral relations to the level of strategic partnership in 2010, creating a premise for the development of economic ties.

Bilateral trade increased to 3 billion USD in 2017, with Argentina’s exports to Vietnam reaching 2.5 billion USD. In the first four months of 2018, Argentina exported 950 million USD worth of commodities to Vietnam and imported 170 million USD worth of Vietnamese goods.

Despite recording a trade deficit, Vietnam’s exports to Argentina surged 70 percent in 2017 compared to 2016. Vietnam mostly shipped to Argentina high value added products such as apparel, footwear, electronic products, farm produce and processed food. The two markets supplement and cater to each other’s demand.

Argentina is ready to open its market for high quality products from Vietnam, the ambassador said, adding that Vietnamese farm produce have potential to gain a better foothold in Argentina. The goal of 5 billion USD in bilateral trade is reachable, he stressed.

Vice Governor of Entre Rios province Bahl Adan Humberto, who is leading a delegation of three Argentinean provinces on a visit to Vietnam, said Argentinean firms consider Vietnam an important market with a lot of potential and opportunities for foreign investors.

According to the official, Vietnam has recorded a high and stable economic growth rate, with increasing per capita income pushing up demand for high quality products. Apart from promoting exports to Vietnam, Argentinean businesses also want to find partners for their imports of Vietnamese products.

The vice governor suggested organising business exchanges and trade promotion activities to help improve balance in bilateral trade. Argentina welcomes Vietnamese firms to study its market and introduce their goods, he added.

Argentinean companies also want to cooperate with Vietnamese partners in the areas of agricultural production, animal husbandry, tourism and investment, he said.-VNA