Vietnam, China's Hong Kong enjoy fruitful cooperation: Diplomat hinh anh 1Outgoing Vietnamese Consul General in Hong Kong Tran Thanh Huan (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - All fields of the partnership between Vietnam and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China, especially economy, trade and investment, have been given due attention by leaders on both sides, Tran Thanh Huan, the outgoing Vietnamese Consul General in Hong Kong, said in an interview with the Vietnam News Agency.

He noted that together with the Vietnam-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, the cooperation between localities in Vietnam and Hong Kong has been fruitful in recent years in all fields, especially economy and trade.

Economic-trade cooperation has long been a bright spot in ties between localities and Hong Kong, Huan said, citing figures from the Hong Kong Trade Development Council that show that two-way trade rose from 16.21 billion USD in 2016 to 21.2 billion USD in 2019.

In the first nine months of 2020, despite the impact of COVID-19, the figure still reached 17.1 billion USD, up 17.5 percent compared to the same period last year. Vietnam surpassed Thailand to become the third-largest trade partner of Hong Kong in ASEAN.

In terms of investment, 2019 marked a breakthrough in Hong Kong’s investment throughout Vietnam. It led all countries and territories, with 257 projects and a total capital of 5.3 billion USD. Hong Kong has also become the fifth-largest investor in Vietnam. In the first 10 months of this year, 179 new projects from Hong Kong worth 1.37 billion USD were registered.

Hong Kong now has 1,918 projects in Vietnam with a total registered capital of nearly 25 billion USD.

Huan said cooperation in other fields such as culture, tourism and people-to-people exchanges has also seen progress. The Hong Kong Museum of History plans to set aside a space to display documents and items relating President Ho Chi Minh’s time in Hong Kong.

Vietnam has become an attractive destination for tourists from Hong Kong. Before COVID-19, 20 flights were conducted each day between Hong Kong and five localities in Vietnam. Vietnam welcomed more than 50,000 tourists from Hong Kong last year.

This year, with Vietnam taking on the role of the ASEAN Chair and the ASEAN-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement taking effect, new opportunities have opened up for the further promotion of trade and investment cooperation between Hong Kong and Vietnam as well as ASEAN. Vietnam is seen as one of the most attractive destinations for Hong Kong investors seeking to move investment flows into Southeast Asia.

Huan said the 71-million-strong Hong Kong market, with GDP of 1.6 trillion USD, offers numerous opportunities for Vietnamese firms. He proposed each side strive to overcome the existing difficulties, including the impact of COVID-19, to quickly reach the “new normal” and resume flights to facilitate trade and tourism. Vietnam should to fully prepare to welcome new capital from Hong Kong, he said.

The diplomat said he is confident that the cooperation between Vietnamese localities and Hong Kong will continue to reap rewards in the time to come./.