Vietnam, Philippines boast potential for further trade cooperation hinh anh 1At the workshop (Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – Vietnam and the Philippines boast substantial potential to step up their trade and investment cooperation, heard a workshop jointly held by the two countries’ ministries of industries and trade in Ho Chi Minh City on June 20.

Tran Quoc Khanh, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, said the friendship and economic, trade and investment links between the two countries have reaped noted achievements, with two-way trade hitting 4 billion USD in 2017, up 22 percent year-on-year.

In the first five months of 2018, the bilateral trade revenue hit 1.77 billion USD, a rise of 15.5 percent against the same period last year, the official said.

Currently, Vietnam and the Philippines are the fifth largest trade partner of each other in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Of note, the Philippines has poured 328 million USD in Vietnam so far this year, ranking 35 out of 126 countries and territories investing in the country.

Khanh said, however, the results have yet to match the position and potential of the two countries.

He suggested Vietnam and the Philippines should take advantage of their reciprocal export structures, as well as their ASEAN membership to deepen the economic and trade ties.

The Vietnamese Government is scaling up efforts to implement concrete measures to improve the domestic business environment and national competitiveness, and create the best possible conditions for foreign businesses and investors to effectively operate in Vietnam, Khanh noted.

Ceferino Rodolfo, Undersecretary of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry, described Vietnam as one of the fast-growing markets, and an attractive destination for many enterprises and investors in Southeast Asia.

The two countries still have a lot of potential to turn their trade and investment potential into cooperation opportunities, he said.

Philippine firms have regarded Vietnam as a promising market in ASEAN and Asia at large, with such advantages as high, dynamic population and increasing consumption demands, especially for high-quality and personal-care products, according to the official.

At the workshop, nearly 20 Philippine businesses operating in the fields of food, consumer goods, and auto-automobile manufacturing engaged in exchanges with some 100 Vietnamese firms to set up partnerships and push trade activities in the future. -VNA