- Hans Weber
- November 29, 2023
Vietnam-Czech economic cooperation promoted
The Vietnam-Czech Business Forum, which took place on February 21, was aimed at creating new opportunities for businesses in both countries to expand their networks. Hosted by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Czech Embassy in Vietnam, and the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic, the event was part of Czech Industry and Trade Minister Jozef Sikela’s official visit to Vietnam from February 19-22. The forum saw the participation of leading enterprises from the Czech Republic in fields such as energy, construction, network security, software development, pharmaceuticals, and credit insurance.
Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Do Thang Hai, noted that, despite over 70 years of diplomatic relations, the trade turnover between Vietnam and the Czech Republic is still modest and does not match the potential of the two countries. In 2022, the total trade turnover between Vietnam and the Czech Republic increased by 12.6%, reaching $828 million. Vietnam’s export to the Czech Republic increased by 14.6% on-year to reach $668 million, while its imports from the Czech Republic increased by 5% to reach $160 million. The Czech Republic is one of the most important trading partners of Vietnam in East-Central Europe.
Vietnam exports footwear, garments, seafood, and industrial machines to the Czech Republic and imports machinery and equipment, mechanical products, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and crystal glassware from the Czech Republic. By the end of 2022, the Czech Republic had four valid projects with a total registered capital of approximately $92.4 million in Vietnam. On the other hand, Vietnam only had four projects in the Czech Republic with a modest capital of $4.4 million, mainly in the form of joint ventures.
Hai urged Czech businesses to pay more attention to the Vietnamese market, which is one of the most dynamic developing markets in Asia, adding that the potential for cooperation between the two countries is considerable but has not been adequately promoted. The deputy minister also noted that Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade and other relevant ministries, departments, and branches are committed to supporting and creating favorable conditions for Czech enterprises to do business, trade, and investment in accordance with Vietnam’s laws, regulations, and policies of actively integrating into the international economy.
Minister Sikela considers Vietnam a very close friend and a strategic economic partner for the Czech Republic in terms of the development of trade and investment for many reasons. The special relationship between the two countries is based on the presence of the Vietnamese community, which is the third-largest in Europe. The Czech Republic has more than 200,000 citizens who speak Czech or Slovak in Vietnam. In terms of overall trade, Vietnam represents the most significant trade partner of the Czech Republic in Southeast Asia, and Czech tech companies have excellent references on the local market in areas such as defense and security, mining, industry, energy sector, and financial services.
The trade rules between the two countries have become simpler thanks to the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement. Sikela expects that the value of trade between the two countries will increase even more in the years to come thanks to the cooperation projects of the companies from the two sides. Vietnam is among the most stable and fast-expanding markets in Asia, and remarkable economic and investment opportunities can be found here. The forum represented an excellent occasion to find ways to further expand economic cooperation between the Czech Republic and Vietnam and support business-to-business contacts between the two business communities. The business forum also witnessed the signing ceremony of cooperation between a number of Vietnamese enterprises and partners from the Czech Republic.
Article by Prague Forum