Vietnam, Iran need new leverage to optimise economic potential hinh anh 1President Truong Tan Sang (second, left) speaks at the forum (Photo: VNA)

Tehran (VNA) – Vietnam and Iran need a new leverage, their leaders’ political resolve and businesses’ will and actions to fully tap into their economic potential, said President Truong Tan Sang.

The Vietnamese leader made the remark while attending a Vietnam – Iran business forum in Tehran on March 15. The function was co-organised by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Iran’s Trade Promotion Organisation.

It saw the presence of representatives of over 200 Iranian enterprises operating in construction, agriculture, mechanics, energy, and food production. The Vietnamese side included those from more than 30 businesses such as the military-run telecommunications group Viettel, the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PVN), and the Vietnam Northern Food Corporation.

Speaking at the forum, Iranian Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Mohammad-Reza Nematzadeh said the two countries have a long-standing relationship, but their trade ties have not been capitalised on due to the impacts of sanctions.

President Truong Tan Sang and accompanied entrepreneurs visited in a right point in time, which will promote business opportunities for both sides. Iran, which boasts a population of over 80 million, with relatively high average incomes and political stability in the Middle East, wishes to boost cooperation with Vietnam – a country with a 90 million-strong population and also an ASEAN member, he added.

The official noted that if payment and transportation barriers are overcome, they will make great strides in bilateral trade.

Meanwhile, the Vietnamese leader said the two sides should at first explore each other’s goods demand, and address financial and banking issues, to support their companies in seeking partnership.

Highlighting significant attainments during Vietnam’s three decades of doi moi (reform), he expressed his hope that in its Look East policy, Iran will choose his country as the first destination, while its ministries should design policies encouraging Iranian investments in the Southeast Asian nation.

At the forum, Iranian officials and entrepreneurs agreed to join their Vietnamese counterparts to devise incentives for businesses and to boost trade promotion activities.

On this occasion, President Truong Tan Sang witnessed the signing of a letter of intention on cooperation between the PVN and Iran’s Ghadir Group, and a memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the State Bank of Vietnam and the Central Bank of Iran.

Also on March 15, he had a meeting with President of the Iran–Vietnam Friendship Association Kamal Sajjadi.-VNA