Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic Vladimir Bartl (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
- A Czech trade official has said Vietnam and the Czech Republic share huge room for trade and investment cooperation.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic Vladimir Bartl, has told the Vietnam News Agency that Vietnam and the Czech Republic have promising and long-term cooperation potential in numerous fields thanks to the traditional friendship between the two nations, the active support of the two governments, and particularly the EU – Vietnam free trade agreement (EUVFTA) which is to be effective within this year.

"Vietnam and the Czech Republic serve as the two gateways for their products to enter the EU in one way and ASEAN in another way. The two nations will actively support each other to fully tap the potentials of their own as well as within the cooperation mechanisms that they are members to,” Bartl said.

The Deputy Minister was in Hanoi for the sixth meeting of the Inter-Governmental Committee on Vietnam-Czech Republic Economic Cooperation on April 11. He attended the Vietnam-Czech Business Seminar the day earlier.
 
Delegates at the Czech-Vietnamese Business Seminar (Source: VNA)

“The economic and trading cooperation between the two nations over the past years has yet to reach their potentials and expectations,” he underscored, adding that the Czech Republic wants stronger cooperation and investment in environment protection, mining, construction technology, biotechnology, nanotechnology, telecommunication, industrial machines, and agriculture, with Vietnam.

Addressing at the Czech-Vietnamese Business Seminar hosted by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) on April 10, Ta Hoang Linh, Head of the European-American Markets Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade highlighted the fast growth and deep integration into the global and regional economy of both Vietnam and the Czech Republic as a favourable condition for the two countries to accelerate bilateral cooperation in economics, trade and investment.

He highlighted Vietnam’s favourable investment environment for foreign investors in general and those from the Czech Republic in particular, in terms of political stability, better legal system in line with international practices, and improved infrastructure.

He said the Vietnam Government is accelerating institutional and administrative reforms in an effort to meet the requirements of the market-oriented economy as well as the international integration, with a view to creating a more transparent and favourable condition for trading and investment of foreign and domestic businesses.

“The Ministry of Industry and Trade and other ministries and sectors are committed to supporting and facilitating trade and investment of Czech businesspeople,” Linh said.

The Czech Republic is among Vietnam’s biggest trade partners in Central and East Europe, he affirmed, calling on Czech firms to turn greater attention to the Vietnamese market.

For his part, VCCI Vice President Doan Duy Khuong highlighted the stable growth of the Vietnam – Czech trade exchange, and noted prospects for bilateral cooperation in such key sectors as agricultural products, textile and clothes, machinery, medical equipment, and energy. 
 
VCCI Vice President Doan Duy Khuong speaks at the event (Source: VNA)

“The Vietnam – Czech cooperation has always been among priorities of the two nations’ governments and business community,” Khuong said, citing the participation of many Czech firms in the seminar. 

Sabina Tancevova, Manager of the International Relations Department under the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic described Vietnam as one of the most dynamic markets in Asia, adding that the two nations share huge benefits in boosting their business connection.

“Czech firms are very interested in investing in Vietnam, particularly partnering up with Vietnamese firms run by those who used to live or study in the Czech Republic,” she said, noting the mutual understanding in terms of language and culture as the reason.

Meanwhile, Petr Kulovany from the Department of Africa, Asia and Australia under the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic highlighted Vietnam as a traditional business partner of the Czech Republic, saying that the mutual trade tradition has spanned over the past 70 years.

Vietnam is among the most important partners of the country in Asia and ASEAN, and is on the list of the priority countries in the Czech Export Strategy from 2012 -2020, he said.

In 2017, Vietnam and the Czech Republic traded nearly 257.6 million USD worth of goods, up 3 percent from 2016, 151 million USD of which was Vietnamese export, up 3.5 percent year on year.

In January-February 2018, the two countries’ trade reached nearly 50 million USD, up 31.3 percent from the same period in 2017. Vietnam’s exports worth more than 28 million USD in the time were mostly footwear, apparels, aquatic products, industrial machines, spare parts and electricity devices.

As of the end of February, the Czech Republic has 36 valid investment projects in Vietnam, capitalizing at over 90 million USD, ranking 49th out of 126 nations and territories investing in Vietnam.

The sixth meeting of the Inter-Governmental Committee on Vietnam-Czech Republic Economic Cooperation in Hanoi on April 11 sought to come up with more possibilities for the two countries as well as their businesses to accelerate their economics, trade and investment partnerships.-VNA