Trade between Vietnam and the Czech Republic reached nearly US$250 million in 2016, with Vietnam exporting more than US$146 million worth of goods to the Czech Republic and importing close to US$104 million from the European nation.
Speaking at the Vietnam-Czech Business Forum, Vice President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Vo Tan Thanh said that the Czech Republic has been identified as one of Vietnam’s strategic export markets during 2010-2020.
According to the official, Vietnam’s major exports to the Czech Republic include footwear, apparels, seafood, coffee and pepper and its imports are chemicals, equipment, spare parts and plastics.
Vietnam has also been attractive to Czech investors for many areas, but bilateral trade has failed to reflect the two countries’ potential and demands, he noted.
The target of raising two-way trade to US$1 billion in the time ahead is within reach, especially after the free trade agreement between Vietnam and the EU, to which the Czech Republic is a member, comes into force, he said.
Echoing Thanh’s view, Jaroslav Hanak, President of the Czech Confederation of Industry, highlighted Czech businesses’ increasing demand for cooperation with Vietnam, explaining that Vietnam is one of the Czech Republic’s most promising markets in ASEAN.
Through Vietnam, the Czech Republic can access and expand the market to other Asian nations, he said.
Hailing Vietnam’s economic growth over the past years, Czech Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Jiri Koliba affirmed Vietnam as an important economic partner of the Czech Republic.
The Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade has selected Vietnam as one of the 12 strategic export markets by 2020, with major export items like machines and spare parts which are much needed by Vietnam to serve its spearhead industries, he emphasised.
He suggested the two countries cooperate with each other in the supply of production lines, food processing equipment, and automatic watering systems in service of high-tech agriculture, and medical equipment.
The Czech Republic is running 34 projects worth nearly US$90 billion in Vietnam, focusing on the production of glass, crystal, electric equipment and construction materials.
The participating Czech businesses expressed their wish to invest in such realms as energy, hydropower plants, nano-bio technologies, waste water treatment, mining, auto manufacturing and metal treatment.
Czech firms have identified HCM City as one of their strategic investment destinations in Vietnam, Jiri Koliba stressed, listing promising cooperation sectors like city planning, transport management, IT, finance-banking and insurance services.
Le Thi Huynh Mai, Deputy Director of the HCM City Department of Planning and Investment, pledged that the city always keeps its door open for foreign businesses, including those from the Czech Republic.