At the Vietnam-Bulgaria Business Forum
(Photo: VOV)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnam’s improving competitiveness has helped it become more attractive to Bulgarian companies who want to invest and seek business opportunities in the country, Bulgarian Minister of Economy Emil Karanikolov has said.

Karanikolov made the statement while attending the Vietnam-Bulgaria Business Forum which opened in Hanoi on September 18.

The forum, jointly held by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the Bulgarian Embassy in Vietnam, drew the participation of more than 20 Bulgarian firms operating in industrial parks, engine greases, animal feed, agricultural products, urban lighting, import-export insurance, defence industry, beverage, gas engine assembly and maintenance, among others.

Karanikolov spoke highly of the Vietnamese Government’s efforts in socio-economic reform, citing Vietnam’s 55th place in the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s global competitiveness list in 2017, up 22 moves from 2006, and its 68th position in the World Bank Group’s annual “Ease of Doing Business” report.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Cao Quoc Hung said that this is a good opportunity for businesses from both nations to exchange and set up partnerships, thus further bolstering economic relations between the two nations.

After 30 years of reform and global economic integration, Vietnam’s trade has played an important role in the country and world’s economies, Hung said.

In the first eight months of the year, Vietnam’s export growth picked up 14.5 percent from the same time last year to 155.4 billion USD, he said, adding that its imports rose 11.6 percent to 152.7 billion USD.

The European Union (EU) has been a significant partner of Vietnam, Hung stressed, adding that the bloc is currently the third biggest trade partner, and one of the two largest export markets of the Southeast Asian country.

Two-way increased 12 times to 50 billion USD in 2017 from 4.1 billion USD in 2000. Vietnam’s key export products are garment and textile, coffee, furniture and seafood. Meanwhile, the EU countries had by the end of 2017 registered more than 21.5 billion USD in some 2,000 valid projects in Vietnam.

As Bulgaria is among traditional trade partners of Vietnam in the EU, Hung expressed his hope that cooperation between the two countries will be expanded and further accelerated, especially when Vietnam is integrating into the world’s economy with breakthrough reforms.

Meanwhile, VCCI Vice President Doan Duy Khuong said that the forum is also designed to assist Vietnamese businesses in accessing Bulgarian firms to unlock a developing market in Eastern Europe, and a gateway for Vietnamese products to penetrate Western European markets.-VNA