MoU signed to promote ties between Vietnam and Latin American countries in a range of fields.
A memorandum of understanding was signed on July 3 in Hanoi by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the Mercosur - ASEAN Chamber of Commerce, which is expected to enhance cooperation between Vietnam and Mercosur (which includes Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Venezuela, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru).
With the aim of multi-lateralizing and diversifying relations, Vietnam has always focused on its traditional friendships with Latin American countries, especially in trade, investment and tourism, according to Secretary General of VCCI Pham Thi Thu Hang.
“Beside the good diplomatic relationship, Vietnam and Latin American countries have many advantages to develop their economies because there are a range of fields in which they can support each other,” she emphasized. She listed certain fields, such as exploiting and processing oil and gas, hydropower, wind power, nuclear energy, and bio- products, as well as agriculture and agriculture processing.
“Vietnam has trade relations with all 33 countries in Latin America,” she added. Bilateral trade in 2008 was about $2 billion but exceeded $5.17 billion in 2011. In 2014 Vietnam exported goods to Latin American countries worth $4.7 billion and imported $4.8 billion worth.
Trade relations between Vietnam and Latin America were still low, however, and further cooperation is expected.
“We want to bring your products to Mercosur and promote them within the region,” President of the Argentinean subsidiary of the Mercosur - ASEAN Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Piet Verdult, said. “The two regions complement each other and have great potential.” Moreover, Mercosur wants to help small and medium-sized enterprises in Vietnam.
Mercosur could also provide products with high added value, he said, such as medicine and bio-technology products. Brazil already cooperates with the Philippines in pharmaceuticals. He believes that if Mercosur could penetrate into the Philippines the country would be a bridge for its products to come to ASEAN and Vietnam, especially after the ASEAN Economic Community is established at the end of this year.