Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Le Hoai Trung made notes at a forum aimed to boost Vietnam-China economic cooperation, held in Hanoi on December 20.
Deputy Foreign Minister Le Hoai Trung addresses the forum.
Trung emphasized bilateral cooperation in economics, trade and investment as the continued spotlight on Vietnam – China ties in recent years.
He underpinned his view by a string of positive statistics. They included the trade turnover between the two sides posting US$ 97.3 billion in the first 11 months of 2018, rising by 16.5% year on year and the number of Chinese tourists to Vietnam climbing to more than 4.5 million, a year on year surge of 27%.
By the end of November, there have been over 2,000 Chinese-invested projects in Vietnam, with a total registered capital of US$13 billion.
This makes China the seventh largest investors among 129 countries and territories who have invested in Vietnam.
With the population inching to 100 million and the working-age population accounting for 60%, Vietnam has been offering great potential for rapidly-rising purchasing power, with better opportunities for the middle classes.
Trung further said that Vietnam is estimated to reap its GDP growth of nearly 7% in 2018, the highest level seen in the past decade. Its trade turnover is also showing good numbers and is expected to hit US$ 475 billion, thus listing Vietnam one of the top 30 countries and territories in regards to trade turnover in the world.
This year the foreign investment inflow into Vietnam is predicted to amount to over US$ 30 billion in total. Vietnam’s purchasing managers index (PMI), an indicator of economic health for manufacturing and service sector, hit a peak of 56.5 points in the past seven years, helping Vietnam top the ASEAN PMI rankings.
Trung stressed that foreign investors in Vietnam are provided with favorable access to the promising domestic market but also a chance to penetrate other big markets around the world.
Vietnam has free trade connections with nearly 60 countries and territories through 16 free trade agreements (FTAs), including two new generation deals like Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), he explained. These trading partners hold respectively 61% and 68% of the global GDP and trade.
The diplomat also noted that Vietnam is eager on new investment flows from China, especially hi-tech foreign direct investment (FDI) projects that match the former’s demand and represent the latter’s advanced technology development.
He underlined the priority given to several fields, including infrastructure, supporting industries, and hi-tech agriculture.
However, during the implementation of their projects in Vietnam, Chinese enterprises and investors need to pay due attention to ensuring environmental protection and the legitimate rights and interests of workers, as well as taking a more active part in social welfare activities, Trung suggested.
Li Baodong, secretary-general of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), stated in a speech at the forum that that China-Vietnam relations, advocated by top leaders of the two countries, have been constantly flourishing, with the considerable growth in bilateral trade and investment cooperation.
|Li Baodong, secretary-general of the Boao Forum for Asia makes a note that Vietnam is China’s largest trading partner in ASEAN.
Last year, bilateral trade between the two countries exceeded US$100 billion, Li said, adding that cashew nuts and coffee have achieved deeper penetration into many Chinese e-commerce platforms.
A number of Chinese investors have maintained their investments in Vietnam for many years while taking important parts in social activities in Vietnam, he noted.
The forum is the first of its kind, jointly held by the BFA and the Vietnamese side with nearly 500 delegates, including 200 business people from China in attendance in a bid to seek their further cooperation with partners across the fields of trade, infrastructure, energy, finance, and agriculture.