Vietnam, China Promote Economic and Trade Cooperation

To promote friendly relations, economic cooperation and trade exchange between China’s Guangxi Province and Vietnam, a delegation of more than 100 companies led by Mr Peng Qinghua, Secretary of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region’s Party Committee, paid a working visit to Vietnam from June 9 to 14, 2013, attending the China – Vietnam Comprehensive Economic and Trade Forum, and Chinese Guangxi Trade Fair at Giang Vo Exhibition Centre in Hanoi.

Chinese visitors mainly operate in electronics, household appliances, agricultural machinery, textile, energy, chemical, building material, agricultural product, biological pharmaceutical, general export and investment.

The China – Vietnam Comprehensive Economic and Trade Forum aimed to boost cooperation in exhibition, create business opportunities of mutual benefit, enhance border cooperation, strengthen linkage and consolidate the “two corridors, one belt” cooperation. This is considered a good opportunity for Vietnamese businesses to study the Chinese market, contact and meet with Chinese businesses to seek investment and business opportunities.

According to statistics, Vietnam – China economic cooperation has rapidly developed and achieved remarkable results in the past years. The bilateral trade turnover increased rapidly and exceeded more than US$40 billion in 2012. Particularly, in the first four months of 2013, this value reached US$14 billion. The value was expected to top US$60 billion by 2015. The two-side cooperation in investment and tourism has flourished. Vietnam mainly exports agricultural products, processed industrial products and mineral to China while importing machinery, equipment, vehicles, electronics, foods and consumer goods from the neighbouring nation.

The cooperation in economy, trade and industry between Vietnam and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (China) always secured a very important position in Vietnam’s economic relations with China. Statistics show that the two-way trade turnover between Vietnam and Guangxi Province totalled US$9.73 billion in 2012, representing an increase of 28.4 percent over 2011 and accounting for 23.67 percent of Vietnam – China two-way trade revenue. With its special geographic and political advantages to Vietnam, Guangxi has today become a gateway for China – Vietnam cooperation in particular and for China – ASEAN cooperation in general.

At the forum, Vietnamese Deputy Industry and Trade Minister Ho Thi Kim Thoa stressed that the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade always respects and appreciates the position, role and strategic significance of Guangxi in Vietnam – China economic, commercial and industrial partnership. The ministry willing to cooperate more closely with the Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region to search for practical, effective solutions to promote bilateral economic and trade cooperation as well as solve problems arising in two-way trade relations.

Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Kong Xuanyou said with the effort of both sides, the Guangxi Autonomous Region formulates Vietnam – China friendly cooperation. To attract Chinese companies to do business and invest in Vietnam, he hoped the Vietnamese side will continue provide necessary support for Chinese firms to invest in Vietnam, including key projects like Shenzhen – Hai Phong Industrial Park and Long Giang Industrial Park.

However, Mr Hoang Ngoc Phong, Deputy Director of the Development Strategy Institute under the Ministry of Planning and Investment of Vietnam, said one of the biggest obstacles to the development of bilateral trade is infrastructure, especially limited road infrastructure in Vietnam. Vietnam’s most border gates and trade infrastructure are weak and backward. Administrative procedures and policies are unfavourable and discouraging to business development.

Therefore, he said, to promote Vietnam – China cooperation in infrastructure development projects in the “two-corridor, one-belt” region, the two sides should further understand cooperation needs and capabilities of each other to propose suitable, effective cooperation roadmap and forms. Key Vietnam – China cooperation projects must be placed in a strategic vision and in China – Vietnam – ASEAN connection. Some important projects need to be carried out soon such as Lang Son – Hanoi Highway and Hanoi – Ha Long – Mong Cai Highway. These facilities will not only be important foundations to boost Vietnam – China trade but also accelerate the greater Tonkin Bay economic cooperation in particular and China – ASEAN cooperation in general.

In the framework of the forum, an exhibition was opened in the Giang Vo Exhibition Centre from June 11 to 14, 2013 for some 100 Vietnamese and Guangxi companies to showcase their products and services like automobiles, machines, equipment, electronic communication devices, electrical appliances, garments, textiles, light industries, ceramics, chemical products, agricultural products, and pharmaceuticals.

Anh Mai