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Last updated: Monday, June 26, 2017

 

Vietnam - Iran: Joint Effort for US$2-billion Trade Value

Posted: Monday, April 24, 2017


More than 20 leading Iranian businesses led by Mr Gholam Hossein Shafei, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines and Agriculture of Iran met with Vietnamese businesses at the Vietnam - Iran Business Forum hosted by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in cooperation with the Embassy of Iran in Vietnam in Hanoi.
 
Iranian visitors are mainly engaged in food industry, fresh and dried fruits, agricultural products (pepper, coffee, black tea, rice, rubber, pistachio, etc.), foodstuffs (meat, chicken legs, etc.), fishing, confectionery, home appliances, iron ore and metals, paper and cardboard packaging, footwear, apparel, construction materials, and general trade. They came to Vietnam to seek partners and opportunities of investment and business cooperation with Vietnamese companies.

VCCI President Vu Tien Loc said that the bilateral trade revenue between the two sides is still very modest now, just above US$100 million a year, clearly incommensurate with political and diplomatic relations development between the two nations. Iran is a big market in the Middle East, which holds huge potential of energy, petrochemical and mining. Its key exports are gas and petrochemical products. Meanwhile, Vietnam - a gateway to ASEAN - is strong in agriculture and exports agricultural and aquatic products, electronic products, plastics and apparels. These two economies can greatly complement each other.

In addition, tourism cooperation is tremendously potential for both sides. Iran is a place of interests of many Vietnamese people while Vietnam catches the attention and interest of Iranians, he added.

“Although potential is tremendous, international cooperation is very limited. Thus, the two sides essentially strengthen the bilateral cooperation. In the coming time, Iran will set up the Iran - Vietnam Business Council in Iran and Vietnam will establish the Vietnam - Iran Business Council in a bid to boost up export to Iran and draw more Iranian investment capital,” Dr Loc said.

Mr Gholam Hossein Shafei said that high-level visits between the two countries in the past years have shown interests and desires to promote business and trade relations between the two countries. This forum is the starting point for a new development relationship.

"The Iranian Government always strives to develop its potential and strengths. Iranian companies also want to boost up trade and investment with Eastern countries, including Vietnam. Vietnam is a dynamic ASEAN member and a good opportunity for Iranian products to penetrate this broad market. With its strategic location in the Middle East, Iran is a good destination for Vietnamese businesses to invest in,” he said.

He said, there are many fields that the two sides can cooperate in. For example in the garment sector, Vietnam and Iran can cooperate to produce fabrics. If Vietnam provides technology and experience, it will find it easy to penetrate the Iranian market. Meanwhile, Iran can invest in petrochemical production and food processing in Vietnam.

"Hopefully, the two Chambers will cooperate more closely after the formation of Vietnam - Iran Business Councils in each country. This will help drive bilateral trade to US$2 billion as the leaders of the two nations have aimed for,” said Mr Gholam Hossein Shafei.

According to VCCI, highly tradable commodities between the two countries include base oil, bitumen, plastic resins, petrochemicals, rubber, tea, rice, agricultural products, consumer goods and animal feeds. Nevertheless, information on the business environment and cooperation between the two countries is insufficient; mutual understanding is still limited; and payment mechanism between two nations is hard.

In order to overcome these difficulties, especially in payment issues, VCCI said that the Government should support enterprises to do business and make investment in Iran; research on the possibility of bartering such as rice for Iran’s base oil and dates. At the same time, the two sides should actively organise workshops to introduce business and investment potential and opportunities; and exchange delegations to survey the market and expand trade and investment cooperation ties.
 
Anh Mai








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