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Mar 13, 2016 / 11:51

Ambassador: Vietnam, Iran bolster bilateral ties

On March 13, President Truong Tan Sang arrived in Tehran on seeking closer ties with Iran, especially in economy and trade, Vietnamese Ambassador to Iran Nguyen Hong Thach told the Tehran Times.

He said there are many Vietnamese businessmen wishing to enter the Iranian market and the same feeling is also expressed by Iranian businessmen towards Vietnam. They two countries should push trade forward as they see great potential for expanding relations in this field, he noted.

Petrochemistry, for example, is one of the strengths of Iran. On the other hand, Vietnam’s agricultural, textile, and shoes industries have a lot to offer Iran. Furthermore, an important area for cooperation is tourism. Iranians travel a lot, especially to countries near Vietnam. So, it is a good opportunity for the two countries to consider the tourism sector more seriously, he said.

In fact, the petrochemistry sector is closely related to the oil industry. During the visit, both sides will discuss a joint venture in Vietnam between Iranian Ghadir Investment Group and PetroVietnam to produce petrochemicals fed by petroleum imports from Iran. It is a good opportunity for Iran because if Iran produces petrochemicals in Vietnam, it can export them through Vietnam to Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries, including the US, Canada, Japan, and the Republic of Korea with very low tariff levels. The project is in the interest of both countries as Iran cannot access the market directly.

Thach said he hopes that both countries will sign a memorandum of understanding on the joint venture on the occasion. He also unveiled that a number of memoranda of understanding are also expected to be signed during the visit, including one between the State Bank of Vietnam and the Central Bank of Iran to expand banking ties.

Also, on the agenda will be a very big business forum organised by the Trade Promotion Organisation of Iran, he added. The ambassador also called on Vietnamese businessmen to invest in the garment industry in Iran, which has a big market and is a gateway into the Middle East region.

Ambassador Nguyen Hong Thach also emphasized to bolster investment and trade cooperation between the two countries. The two sides agreed to sign a deal on promoting tourism cooperation and cultural exchange. During talks with local businesses, the diplomat proposed suitable methods to intensify trade cooperation between the two countries’ enterprises.

In return, local firms promised to sponsor Vietnamese businesses to come to Iran to seek cooperative opportunities