Bilateral export turnover between Viet Nam and the Czech Republic nearly doubled in the past five years, Hoang Thuy Duong, Minister Counsellor at the Vietnamese Embassy to the Czech Republic, said at a forum in Prague on Monday.
However, while last year's turnover reached US$546 million, Duong said co-operation had yet to reach its full potential. There were only about 30 Czech investment projects in Viet Nam, mainly in the fields of glassware, construction materials, electronic equipment and food processing.
Commerce Counsellor Nguyen Thang Long said Viet Nam was looking at importing machinery, equipment and high-tech products from the Czech Republic, as well as spare parts and raw materials.
Long said Viet Nam welcomed Czech enterprises and investors to come to the country and research market conditions, seek partners and build alliances with a view to producing in or exporting to Viet Nam or third countries. He added that a number of Czech businesses were currently drafting investment plans for operations in Viet Nam.
Deputy minister of trade and industry Do Thang Hai expressed hope that the upcoming free trade agreement (FTA) between Viet Nam and the EU would help Viet Nam connect the Czech Republic and EU with the 600 million citizens of ASEAN. In turn, he added, the FTA could boost the Czech Republic's role in connecting Viet Nam with the 500 million citizens of the EU.
Truong Manh Son, Viet Nam Ambassador to the Czech Republic, committed to work with the Ministry of Industry and Trade and relevant agencies to help Czech partners deal with administrative procedures.
Trade mechanisms would be changed in order to create opportunities for implementing bilateral economic and trade projects and enhance market competitiveness, said Pavel Solc, the Czech Republic's Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade.
Meanwhile, EU-Viet Nam Business Network representative Jana Ackermann said that investment opportunities in Viet Nam were very promising as the country boasted huge potential and an open market.
At present, around 40,000 Vietnamese live and work in the Czech Republic.
The forum was co-organised by the Viet Nam trade office in the Czech Republic and the Czech Trade Department.