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Aug 27, 2021 / 21:05

Vietnam to foster investment cooperation with Middle East

A key step in this direction would be to strengthen the linkage between Vietnamese enterprises and investment funds from the Middle East.

Vietnam holds huge potential and advantages to attract investors from the Middle East as bilateral trade turnover between the two is on the upward trend.

 Overview of the meeting. Photo: MoFA

Vice Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc made the view in a webinar on economic opportunities between Vietnam and the Middle East on August 26, which attracted the participation of nearly 100 enterprises and business organizations.

“A key step in this direction would be to strengthen the linkage between Vietnamese enterprises and investment funds from the Middle East,” Ngoc said, adding the local authorities are committed to creating favorable conditions for Middle East firms to increase imports from Vietnam.

Ngoc also called for local firms to build new supply chains in the Middle East. “Vietnam welcomes investors from the Middle East to do business in the country as the Government stands ready to play a supportive role to help them succeed,” she added.

Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Quang Hieu stressed the importance of the event as it has been two years since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Vietnam and other countries have been working on measures to contain the pandemic and pushing for economic recovery, as priorities are given to digital transformation to enhance economic competitiveness and promote green and sustainable growth,” Hieu said.

At the webinar, experts shared the view that the Middle East is a potential market not only in terms of its oil reserves, but also financial and science-technology capabilities with the presence of global investment funds in the region.

As the pandemic continues to be serious around the world, many countries in the Middle East have diversified their economic structure and turned to foreign markets, focusing on renewables, hi-tech farming, green real estate, and modern technologies.

Meanwhile, Vietnam with its strategic location as the gateway to the Southeast Asian market has been an attractive investment destination. For the past five years, Vietnam has been keeping a stable socio-political environment as the platform for economic development, for which the country has been among the five fastest-growing economies.

Vietnam, a member of 17 free trade agreements, with many of them are next-generation trade deals such as the CPTPP, EVFTA, or RCEP, is putting efforts into improving the business environment towards greater transparency and convenience for all market players.

While there has been progressing in Vietnam-Middle East economic cooperation, the results remain modest as major issues to attract investment from the Middle East are the lack of market information, differences in business practices, or an investment protection agreement, not to mention the current Covid-19 impacts on the global economy.

To further enhance investment efficiency, experts called for a new approach in the cooperation between the two sides, including diversification of investment methods or the establishment of joint-investment funds, finalization of the legal framework for investment and further improving the business environment.

Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Hieu said government agencies would continue to cooperate with enterprises and business associations to strengthen economic cooperation between Vietnam and the Middle East, seen as a key task to further realize the twin goal of both containing the pandemic and boosting economic recovery.