The Hanoitimes - Hanoi has been going through significant transformation over the last five years, however, there remain vast opportunities and potential for the city to further develop, according to Beketzhan Zhumakhanov, ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
What do you think about the cooperation potential between Hanoi and Astana?
Kazakhstan Ambassador Beketzhan Zhumakhanov during his meeting with the press on October 24. Source: Ngoc Lam.
Hanoi and Astana has established a twin-city relation, for which we have invited and look forward to meeting Hanoi's leaders at Astana in the near future. This would be an valuable opportunity for the two cities to enhance cooperation, while the potential for development between the two capitals remain huge.
We welcome foreign investments, especially from Vietnamese businesses to Astana, while our companies are very interested in doing business in Vietnam in general, and Hanoi in particular.
As a political and economic hub, Hanoi has been constantly developing in various fields, which has vast opportunities and potential to become a modernized city. In this context, Hanoi should attract more investments in transport infrastructure and communications.
Again, I think the leaders of the two capitals should meet soon to map out a cooperation strategy.
What is the advantages of Kazakhstan enterprises and what should be the focus in cooperation between Vietnam and Kazakhstan?
Kazakshtan enterprises are very cautious and conservative in their investment. So they would study extensively Vietnam's market behavior and customer preferences before making the move. For example, Kusto, one of our companies, has been performing well in the Vietnam's real estate market.
However, right now only a handful of Vietnamese enterprises know about Kazakhstan, so we will try to create favorable conditions to facilitate cooperation between enterprises of the two countries.
What do you propose to promote more investments and trade activities between the two countries, as the trade turnover in 2017 remained modest of just over US$540 million?
Trade revenue between Vietnam and Kazakhstan in 2017 stood at US$542.7 million, up 48% year-on-year. So the figure is still low compared to the potentials of the two countries, but the growth rate has been impressive, indicating further opportunities for growth.
I think the two counties should first focus on cooperating in agriculture. We should utilize our advantages to make the most of our markets as we have different weather conditions. Vietnam could export to Kazakhstan tea, tropical fruits, sea foods, which are not available in our country, while Kazakhstan has advantages in beef, wheat, oil, among others.
I propose to building a trading center in Kazakhstan, so that Vietnamese products can be displayed and introduced to Kazakhstan businesses and customers. Moreover, leaders of the two countries should come and visit each other in the search for more cooperation opportunities.
I know Vietnam and EU are finalizing the free trade agreement, so a transport corridor through Vietnam, China, Kazakhstan, Russia and Europe would be ideal replacement to sea transport. This would be the shortest passage to transport goods from Vietnam and ASEAN to European nations.
In April, Kazakhstan Railways delegation and its counterpart from Vietnam had had a meeting in Da Nang city to discuss cooperation in the field of transport logistics. Both sides have agreed to increase frequencies and develop joint logistic routes between the two countries, as well as towards Europe, Russia, Central Asia and backwards involving infrastructure facilities of Kazakhstan-Chinese terminal in the port of Lianyungang, the Chinese-Vietnamese Pingxiang-Dongdang railway border crossing and the Dry Port on the territory of the Special Economic Zone "Khorgos - Eastern Gate" in Kazakhstan.
Transporting goods through these passages would be much faster than by sea transport. For example, the travel time from Lianyungang port to Duisburg, Germany would take only 16 days compared to 45 - 50 days by sea.
Thank you very much!