Vietnam - UAE Relations Increasingly Consolidated and Diversified

11:36:20 AM | 3/5/2021

In recent time, the friendship and good cooperation between Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been increasingly strengthened and diversified. The two countries have continued to cooperate closely and effectively on issues related to politics, diplomacy, trade, investment, and tourism, while increasing the visits of senior leaders and the business community and friendly exchanges between the two countries.

The statistics of the UAE show that the annual bilateral trade between Vietnam and the UAE has been maintained at a high level: in 2017 it was US$10.3 billion; in 2018, US$8.19 billion; in 2019, US$8.16 billion. In 2020, due to the serious impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the two-way trade decreased to about US$5 billion. However, according to the assessment, this will likely reach over US$10 billion in the near future. Notably, Vietnam often records an annual export surplus to the UAE, making the UAE Vietnam's largest export market in the Middle East and Africa region and one of the top export markets of Vietnam in the world (the trade surplus of Vietnam in 2017 was US$9.4 billion; 2018 was US$7.3 billion; 2019 was US$6.9 billion).

Meanwhile, the UAE is promoting extensive investment through many projects in Vietnam. These include the oil and gas exploration projects of Mubadala Petroleum Group worth nearly US$400 million, the seaport project of DP World Group at US$360 million, the project of Ha Long Star hotel and tourism complex by Nakheel Group worth nearly US$550 million, along with many other investment projects implemented by Emirates Airlines, Dubai Investment Group and Dubai Export Group.

In addition, more and more companies and corporations based in the UAE in factories, industrial complexes, construction sites, and commercial centers, receive a large number of Vietnamese skilled workers, along with house workers who have made an important contribution to the development of the UAE.

As a positive bridge between the business communities at home and abroad, over the past years, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) has always actively coordinated with ministries, industries and localities to create favorable conditions for businesses to increase trade promotion. “Vietnam attaches great importance to good traditional friendship and wishes to further promote economic, trade and investment cooperation with the UAE - as one of the important markets of Vietnam in the Middle East - North Africa region. VCCI always creates favorable conditions for foreign investors, including UAE investors and enterprises, to conduct business investment activities in Vietnam,” Dr. Vu Tien Loc, President of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said in a meeting between enterprises of the two sides.

Notably, according to the UAE embassy in Vietnam, Expo 2020 Dubai (postponed to 2021) to be held in Dubai from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022 will be an opportunity for Vietnam to enhance promotion of the country's image and people, agricultural products, foods, aquatic products and many other famous products to the international community. This is also an opportunity for Vietnamese businesses to promote business and investment activities through forums, seminars, cultural and artistic exchange activities, through which they can find suitable partners as well as sign important contracts. It is very special that the Expo, to be held for the first time in an Arab country of the Middle East-Africa region, will create effective cooperation between Vietnam and partners in the region as well as in the international community.

During the development of the country for nearly five decades, the UAE has gained many high international rankings. According to the Global Ease of Doing Business Report of the World Bank, the UAE ranks top among the Arab economies and among the top 10 nations in the world, one of the few leading countries in the world that have synchronous and modern infrastructure quality; ranks third in the world in the index of technology application in the Government's development. The UAE is also one of the top 20 countries in the world in terms of attracting foreign direct investment, along with many preferential incentives to attract investment in free economic zones located near modern seaports and airports, with an increase in purchasing power of more than 9 million people from 200 different nationalities living, studying and working in the country.

By Duc Huy (Vietnam Business Forum)