New Impetus for Vietnam-Botswana Business Cooperation

9:59:07 AM | 9/9/2019

Recently, in Hanoi, Mr. Hoang Quang Phong, Vice President of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), had a meeting with Ms. Unity Dow, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Botswana, visiting Vietnam for the first time.

According to VCCI Vice President Hoang Quang Phong, Ms. Unity Dow's visit will open a new era, creating a new impetus to promote Vietnam-Botswana cooperation in the coming time.

Mr. Phong said that the development prospects between the two countries still have great potential, especially in traditional fields such as agriculture, fisheries, education, health. Botswana's economic development in the last few years was very impressive.

“As a representative for the Vietnamese business community and businessmen, with a role to support development of businesses, VCCI has contributed many ideas, recommendations, policy development and proposed solutions to promote business environment in Vietnam. In 2018, Vietnam was ranked 69th among 190 economies in terms of the business environment index. We are working to increase this index in the near future. We will study the best measures to support businesses of both sides,” Mr. Phong said.

In addition, VCCI Vice President said that Vietnamese enterprises' products are increasingly meeting international standards, especially, Vietnam's agricultural products such as rice, seafood, and electrical components have very competitive price and quality.

VCCI pledged to coordinate with Botswana to actively support businesses of the two countries to organize market surveys, forums, seminars to enhance the promotion of investment opportunities, aiming to improve the bilateral trade.

Ms. Unity Dow said she had learned a lot about the country and the development of Vietnam. Vietnam is a country which always has a dynamic transformation, has a bright vision and is a favorable land for foreign businesses to do business.

Especially, the two countries have recently signed an agreement on visa exemption for diplomatic and official passport holders, which is the first step to facilitate the development and exchange between the two countries.

According to the Minister, Botswana has a small population but a large area, so it is a big challenge for service providers such as education, health and information technology. This may be an opportunity for Vietnamese businesses to invest in Botswana. Besides, Botswana must import up to 80% of food and foodstuffs, and this is also an opportunity for Vietnamese exporters.

One challenge for Botswana is vocational training. Vietnam can develop this field favorably in Botswana. In particular, tourism industry cooperation between the two countries has high potential.

Ms. Unity Dow added that Botswana has potential for producing and manufacturing diamonds and gold, as it is the largest blue diamond producer in the world. Botswana businesses also have great potential in mining, coal.

Tax incentives for foreign businesses are also being implemented by the Botswana government to boost investment in the country. In addition, as a member of the African Union (AU) and Southern African Development Community (SADC), Botswana will strive to help Vietnam reach other member countries as well as promote cooperation in the Non-Aligned Movement.

"Botswana wishes to enhance substantive cooperation with Vietnam in various fields," added Ms. Unity Dow.

At the meeting, VCCI and Botswana Trade and Investment Center signed a memorandum of understanding. This is considered the first step to create a foundation for Vietnam-Botswana business cooperation to deepen in the future.

Quynh Anh