June 6, 2023
HÀ NỘI – Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính has called for greater economic cooperation between Việt Nam and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), particularly in the conclusion of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) negotiations.
He made the statement during a meeting on Monday with Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE’s Minister of State for International Trade Affairs, who is visiting the Southeast Asian country for discussions and collaborative efforts.
The PM welcomed Dr Al Zeyoudi on his second visit to Việt Nam and commended the efforts made by both countries in advancing the negotiations on the CEPA, especially as 2023 marks the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Việt Nam and the UAE.
Chính emphasised Việt Nam’s commitment to an independent, self-reliant, and multilateral foreign policy. He said Việt Nam had gone a long way in building a self-sufficient economy, integrating into the international community, and sustaining positive economic growth, with a GDP growth rate of 8.02 per cent in 2022.
Việt Nam has emerged as one of the world’s top 20 economies in terms of trading scale, and its total import-export turnover reached US$732.5 billion in 2022. The country has deepened its integration with the world through 15 Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) at bilateral and regional levels, which have opened up market opportunities for foreign investors and businesses interested in cooperating with Việt Nam.
The PM acknowledged the UAE’s economic diversification efforts and transition from oil and gas extraction to developing the service sector. He recognised the UAE as one of Việt Nam’s most important economic partners in the Middle East.
He also expressed his satisfaction with the friendly relations and productive cooperation between the two countries, which have yielded positive outcomes including politics, diplomacy, trade, investment, education, tourism, and energy as bilateral trade turnover exceeded US$4.4 billion in 2022.
However, both leaders acknowledged the untapped potential and opportunities for further collaboration, particularly in trade and investment. PM Chính proposed stronger bilateral coordination in organising the 5th Session of the Joint Governmental Committee in 2023.
He encouraged UAE businesses and investment funds to consider investing in areas of mutual interest, such as energy, renewable energy, climate change mitigation, logistics, real estate, services, infrastructure, and the establishment of innovation centres. He also called for the UAE’s greater support in developing cooperation mechanisms for certification, building inspection centres, human resource training, and investing in Halal products.
In addition, he suggested enhanced cooperation and mutual support in international and regional forums, including strengthening ties between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). He said the UAE should consider Việt Nam as a bridge between the UAE and ASEAN, and vice versa, facilitating Vietnamese goods’ access to the Middle Eastern market.
The UAE’s hosting of the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 28) was welcomed by Việt Nam. The country expressed its readiness to collaborate with the UAE and other Convention members to ensure the success of COP 28. Additionally, in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two nations, the PM proposed increased coordination in people-to-people exchanges and cultural activities to enhance mutual understanding and strengthen bilateral relations.
The minister extended an invitation to the PM to visit the UAE in the future.
He said the two countries share many similarities, especially in terms of development orientation, the scale of the economy, growth rate, and economic openness with many signed and upcoming FTAs. He highly regarded Việt Nam’s development efforts and said that Việt Nam accounts for 30 per cent of the UAE’s trade volume with Southeast Asia.
During this visit, the minister leads a delegation of numerous businesses and organisations to explore investment opportunities in Việt Nam, including two major investment funds from the UAE.
He said UAE organisations and businesses were interested in the development of renewable energy, logistics, healthcare, and other sectors. He said the UAE considered Việt Nam an important economic partner with great potential for cooperation in labour export, digital transformation, culture, and education, among others.
He said that UAE investment funds were still seeking more investment opportunities in Việt Nam, and UAE agencies were actively working to conclude the CEPA negotiations by the end of 2023.
The PM conveyed the invitation from Vietnamese President Võ Văn Thưởng to the UAE President to visit the Southeast Asian country. VNS