VIETNAM NEWS/ANN: The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) signed a cooperation agreement with the Federation of Greek Industries and the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) in Hanoi on Monday to tighten cooperation and boost trade between businesses of the two countries.
The agreement was signed at the Vietnam – Greek Business Forum, which attracted representatives from Vietnamese businesses and 16 leading Greek groups in the fields of food, olive oil production, garments and textiles, real estate investment, energy, electricity and lighting.
Speaking at the forum, Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Terens-Nikolaos Quick said Vietnam and Greece had actively cooperated and supported each other at regional and international multilateral forums such as UN, Asia-Europe Meeting and the Asean-EU.
He said Greece was one of earliest countries to ratify the EU-Vietnam Partnership and Cooperation Agreement and supported the early adoption of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement. Greece wanted Vietnam to strengthen its relations with the EU and expected to be a gateway for Vietnamese goods to enter the region.
Cooperation between the two sides would create strong investment in energy, transport and technology in Vietnam. In particular, Greece had a lot of experience in the field of industrial technology, infrastructure and shipping, which would support Vietnam’s development, said Terens.
VCCI deputy chairman Doan Duy Khuong said in the context of the difficult global economic situation, bilateral trade between Vietnam and Greece had made encouraging progress, increasing steadily from $196 million in 2015 to $335 million last year. However, it did not reflect the true potential of both countries.
“Vietnam is now considered a dynamic developing economy in Southeast Asia, becoming an attractive destination for foreign investors. Vietnam has strong export potential for agricultural products, textiles, leather and footwear. It has become one of the most attractive consumer markets in the world,” said Khuong.
Khuong said Vietnam had also made a number of achievements in economic reform, improving the business investment environment, and perfecting the legal and institutional system, in addition to simplifying transparent administrative procedures.
The country has also cooperated extensively with key partners and ratified 10 bilateral and multilateral FTAs with regional and international partners. About 60 economies have been negotiating FTAs with Vietnam, including key trade partners that account for about 90 per cent of Vietnam’s trade turnover.
He said Greece had a developed manufacturing industry, especially the shipping industry, which was developing at the top of the world.
“Vietnam and Greece want to seek cooperation opportunities in this area. We are currently in the process of negotiating the signing of a cooperation agreement on maritime transport. If we can secure this deal it will become a great driving force in boosting economic relations between the two countries.”
“It’s a golden time for Vietnam and Greece to tighten cooperation to bring their traditional relationship to a new height, especially in economy, trade and investment. The two sides need to step up exchanges and trade and develop potential areas such as maritime transport and logistics, shipbuilding, seaport exploitation, tourism and agro-processing,” he said.
In order to reach the target, Khuong stressed that the governments of the two countries would help businesses promote trade, but businesses must also try to develop their operations.