Vietnam and Slovakia need to hold more trade exchanges, increase multi-channel information dissemination and encourage businesses to establish representative offices in each country. (Photo: baodautu.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam and Slovakia need to hold more trade exchanges, increase multi-channel information dissemination and encourage businesses to establish representative offices in each country, according to participants to a Vietnam-Slovakia business forum.

The event, held on November 27 in Hanoi, was organised by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency.

According to Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade, two-way trade between the two countries has jumped 40 times since 2004. Last year’s bilateral turnover increased by 52 percent compared to 2015, reaching 449 million USD. In the first 10 months of 2017, the figure hit about 630 million USD, up 80 percent against the same period last year, making Slovakia one of the most important trade partners of Vietnam in the Central and East Europe.

Vietnam’s primary exports to Slovakia include footwear, clothing, seafood, industrial machines and electronic equipment while the country mostly imports mechanical products, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals.

Speaking at the event, Slovak Deputy Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini said trade opportunities between the two countries remain significant but reality has not yet matched potential. He also said Slovak businesses have expressed interest in investing in Vietnam in mechanical engineering, energy, construction materials, and environmental works.

Currently, Slovakia has nine FDI projects in Vietnam with total investment capital of 247 million USD, ranking 36th among 128 countries and territories investing in the nation.

On the other side, Vietnam has only one ongoing project in Slovakia by the FPT corporation with total investment of 447,000 USD. In addition, TH True Milk is also planning to invest in projects concerning herbal drinks.

Pellegrini also believed that the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, once ratified, would “open up a new chapter in the two countries’ relations”.

“We are ready to support Vietnam and make Slovakia a gateway for Vietnam to access the EU market”, he said, adding that the Slovak government is committed to making ideal conditions for Vietnamese businesses investing in Slovakia.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong reiterated the two governments’ dedication to boosting ties. He also hoped businesses from the two countries would find opportunities during this forum to collaborate.-VNA