Slovakian Deputy Minister of Economy Pavol Pavlis has said his Government prioritises the development of trade and economic cooperation with Southeast Asian countries, especially Vietnam , one of its important trade partners.

Speaking at the Vietnam-Slovakia Business Forum in Hanoi on April 11, Pavlis said his country possesses strengths in the defence industry, military technology, energy, food, finance, banking, plastic manufacturing, construction, mineral exploitation, information technology and petrochemistry.

Doan Duy Khuong, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Chamber of Industry and Commerce (VCCI), said with 60 years of diplomatic ties and similarities in economic structure, political stability and market attraction, Vietnam and Slovakia have abundant potential to develop their trade ties in a deep and broad manner.

Vietnam , an official member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), can serve as a door for Slovakia ’s products to penetrate the ASEAN market. On the other hand, Slovakia , a member of the European Union, can help Vietnamese goods enter the EU market as well as Eastern European countries, Khuong said.

According to Ho Thi Kim Thoa, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, bilateral trade cooperation between Vietnam and Slovakia has yet to match the potential and aspirations of both countries.

Two-way trade between the countries reached only 300 million USD in 2012. Vietnam primarily exports electronic goods, footwear, garments and textiles to Slovakia .

As of the end of 2012, Slovakian businesses had five projects in Vietnam with a total registered capital of 235 million USD, ranking 31 out of 98 foreign investors in Vietnam .

The forum, jointly organised by VCCI, Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade, Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency (SARIO Slovakia) and the Slovakian Embassy in Vietnam, is expected to create opportunities for businesses from both sides to find partners, boosting bilateral economic cooperation between the two countries in the future.-VNA