Vietnam-Romania joint committee holds first ministerial-level session hinh anh 1Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (middle) chairs the Vietnam - Romania business forum in April (Photo: VNA)
Bucharest (VNA) – The Vietnam – Romania Joint Committee on Economic Cooperation convened its 16th session in Bucharest, Romania on October 4 under the chair of Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Tuan Anh and Romanian Minister for Business Environment, Commerce and Entrepreneurship Stefani Radu Oprea.

This is the first ministerial-level meeting of the committee.

Speaking at the event, Minister Anh said the Vietnam visit by Romanian Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos in July 2016 and Romania visit by PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc in April 2019 reflect the resolve of the  two countries’ leaders’ to push forward the substantial and effective development of bilateral ties.

He thanked the government of Romania, which held the presidency of the European Union in the first six months of this year, and Minister Oprea in particular for supporting the signing of the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU – Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA).

The meeting looked back at the economic-trade relations between the two countries since the committee’s previous meeting in June 2016.

According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, two-way trade between Vietnam and Romania reached 218.3 million USD last year, up 6.08 percent from 2017. Vietnam’s exports to Romania rose annually by 22.7 percent to 146.8 million USD and the European country’s exports to Vietnam hit 71.5 million USD, down 17 percent.

In the first eight months of this year, the two-way trade increased by 21.2 percent year-on-year to 174.6 million USD. Of the figure, 133.98 million USD was the value of Vietnam’s exports to Romania, up 39.6 percent and the remaining was Vietnam’s imports, down 15.5 percent.

As of August 20, 2019, Romania invested in two projects worth 1.2 million USD in the manufacturing and processing industry in Vietnam, ranking 92nd out of 132 countries and territories investing in the country. Meanwhile, Vietnam poured 600,000 USD in a project in Romania.

A number of cooperation agreements on energy, industry, agriculture and labour have also been signed over the past years, but specific plans are needed for their implementation.

The Romanian side expressed interest in receiving Vietnamese workers specialised in mechanical engineering, welding, construction, shipbuilding, hospitality and high-tech.

Both sides highlighted the need to further trade promotion activities, in order to boost Vietnam’s exports of apparel, footwear, farm produce, seafood and electronics as well as Romania’s shipments of meat products, honey, wheat, corn and wine, among others.

Minister Oprea accepted an invitation from the Vietnamese side to lead a Romanian business delegation to the Vietnam Expo 2020 as the guest of honour.

The two sides agreed to establish a joint working group to research and propose solution to develop bilateral economic and trade ties.

The Vietnamese side pledged to support Romanian investment in oil and gas exploitation, petrochemicals refining, shipbuilding, power transmission and mechanical engineering, and the sharing of experience among economic policymakers during economic transformation, administrative reform and public finance, and business restructuring.

On the occasion, a sci-tech cooperation programme between the Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology and the Romanian Ministry of Research and Innovation was also signed.

In the morning the same day, the two ministers attended the Vietnam – Romania business forum, and witnessed the signing of two cooperation agreements between Vietnam’s Foreign Investment Agency and Romania’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and between the Hoa Binh Construction Group and the BTD Construction & Ambient Romania on developing construction projects in Romania and the southeast of Europe./.