Speaking at the workshop, David Jakulisch from the Czech Embassy in Vietnam, said the Czech Republic lies in the heart of Europe and has developed transport infrastructure. The Czech government facilitates transparent foreign investment with skilled workers, he noted.
Vietnam mostly ships footwear, clothing, seafood, industrial machinery and electronic devices to the European nation, while importing machinery and steel-made products.
By mid-2016, there were 30 Czech investors in Vietnam who poured more than US$170 million into local projects, making the Czech Republic the 40th largest out of 150 foreign investors in Vietnam. Two-way trade between the two countries is estimated at US$1 billion.
However, barriers remain for made-in-Vietnam products to penetrate the Czech market, Tran Dinh Hiep from the Ministry of Trade and Industry said, citing the fact that most Vietnamese exports to the country face fierce competition from the EU, China, Thailand, Turkey and the Republic of Korea as Vietnamese goods are less competitive in pricing, design, and quality.
The Czech business community is finding solutions to allow more made-in-Vietnam goods to enter the market as well as for Vietnam to lure more foreign investment and technology transfer, he added.
Meanwhile, Le Thi Nhan from Vietnam-based tour operator Haseco Travel said the Czech Embassy does not provide visa services in Vietnam so the company’s clients are forced to apply for visas through the French embassy.
A representative from the Czech Embassy said it acknowledged the problems and will introduce more support for Vietnamese travellers soon. He suggested that Vietnamese nationals who live in HCM City can also apply for Czech visas through the Embassy of Hungary.