Int'l Cooperation

Last updated: Tuesday, March 19, 2019


Vietnam, Oman Fosters Trade Relations

Posted: Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Vietnam and the Sultanate of Oman have witnessed significant progress in bilateral relations since the two states formally established the ties in 1992. With a lot of complementary advantages, the potential for two-way cooperation is huge, especially economic and commercial fields.

At the Third Meeting of the Vietnam - Oman Joint Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation held in Hanoi on March 22 - 23, the two sides agreed on the importance of the joint committee to their multifaceted cooperation and friendship development.

In recent years, this joint committee mechanism has directly promoted many important cooperation fields. For instant, Oman supported Vietnam’s participation in the United Nations Human Rights Council in the 2014 - 2016 term and the United Nations Economic and Social Council in the 2016 - 2018 term; recognised the status of market economy of Vietnam in 2014; and supported steady-growing bilateral trade, particular rising 122 per cent in 2017. The two sides signed the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (2011) to facilitate corporate investment in each other.

Omani businesses have invested in joint financial cooperation ventures with Vietnamese partners like PVI (keeping 11.58 per cent of interests) and the State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC). Vietnamese and Omani banks also established agency relationships. Oman is ranked 33rd out of 126 countries and territories with direct investment in Vietnam with US$337 million and five projects.

According to statistics by the General Department of Vietnam Customs, in 2017, the two-way trade value totalled US$116.7 million, up 122.2 per cent over 2016, of which Vietnam’s exports to Oman valued US$40.9 million, up 74 per cent year on year, and its imports from Oman were worth US$75.8 million, an on-year growth of 161 per cent. Vietnam’s main exports to Oman included mobile phones and components; machinery and equipment; automobile components; and some agricultural products such as coffee, seafood, vegetables and pepper. Oman's main imports are metals, ores, minerals, raw plastics, animal feeds and raw materials. At present, Oman has five investment projects in Vietnam with a total of registered capital of nearly US$340 million.

At this meeting, Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh and his Omani counterpart Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidy agreed on the deployment of some measures to boost bilateral cooperation. Specifically, the two sides will accelerate the conclusion of negotiations to sign the visa exemption agreement for holders of diplomatic and official passports to facilitate their movement between the two countries, and a memorandum of understanding on rice trade between the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Omani Public Authority for Stores & Food Reserve. Vietnam and Oman also agreed on directions and action plans to facilitate enterprises to access each other's markets, diversify their export and import structures. For its part, Vietnam exports aquatic products (catfish and shrimp), milk, processed chicken and rice to Oman while importing natural gas, chemicals and minerals from Oman.

On the Halal certification cooperation aimed to facilitate trade in agricultural products and foodstuffs, Oman provides information on Halal policies and standards applicable to imported foods; supports training for Vietnamese Halal certification businesses and organisations; and recognises Halal certifications by Halal certification agencies in Vietnam.

In the coming time, Vietnam and Oman will promote successful models similar to the Vietnam - Oman Investment Company (VOI), continue to attract encourage Omani businesses invest in Vietnam’s potential areas such as oil and gas, finance, banking, labour, agriculture, fisheries, transportation, culture, sports and tourism.

In addition, the cooperation between the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) will be strengthened to encourage the business communities of the two countries to intensify exchanges, actively explore markets, carry out trade, investment and tourism promotion, join in trade fairs, exhibitions, trade and investment promotion events held in each country.

The two sides will also actively exchange information among counterpart agencies and related associations to regularly provide the business community with trade policies, import and export regulations, market demands, trade opportunities and projects in need of fund in each country.

On the sidelines of the meeting on March 22, the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam held the Vietnam - Oman Business Forum chaired by Vice Minister Cao Quoc Hung and the Omani Minister of Commerce and Industry. The forum was attended by 12 Omani firms and more than 50 Vietnamese companies seeking business opportunities in Oman. This is also an important opportunity for businesses in the two countries to interact directly, exchange information, explore the business investment environment, seek partners, and build investment and business cooperation. Also, on the occasion of the Vietnam - Oman Business Forum, VCCI and OCCI signed a memorandum of understanding on mutual cooperation.

Huong Ly

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