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|05 October 2018, 10:17 AM|
>>>Interview with Mr. Hoang Anh Dung, Commercial Counsellor, Embassy of Vietnam in Romania
By Constantin Radut
First of all, on behalf of the Trade Office of the Embassy of Vietnam in Romania, please accept my sincere thanks and appreciation for your interest in and your good-will towards enhancing and consolidating the bilateral economic and trade relations between Romania and Vietnam.
As you probably know, Vietnam and Romania established diplomatic relations on February 3rd, 1950. And so far the two countries have signed an array of cooperation agreements on various areas i.e. Cooperation Agreement on National Defense (2011); Agreement on Economic Cooperation (2009); Agreement on Cooperation in Quarantine & Plant Protection (2003); Agreement on Cooperation in Science, Technology & Environment (1999); Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation (1995); Agreement on the Promotion & Protection of Investment (1994); Agreement on Maritime Transportation (1994); Agreement on Trade & Payment (1991); Agreement on Civil Aviation Transportation (1979), etc. Apart from these agreements, a certain number of Cooperation Programs and Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) at ministerial level have also been concluded recently during the 15th Session of the Joint Romania – Vietnam Commission on Economic Cooperation held in June 2016 in Hanoi and the official visit of H.E. Dacian Ciolos, Romanian Prime Minister to Vietnam in July 2016 i.e. Cultural Cooperation Program for 2017-2020 between the Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism of Vietnam and the Ministry of Culture of Romania; Cooperation Program in Education & Training for 2017-2020 between the Ministry of Education & Training of Vietnam and the Ministry of National Education of Romania; Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Energy Cooperation between Vietnam National Power Transmission Corporation (EVNNPT) and Transelectrica SA; MOU on Cooperation between Transgaz SA and Petro Vietnam GAZCITY; MOU on Cooperation between Romanian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCIR) and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Vietnam (VCCI).
We are pleased to see that the long-standing & multifaceted relationship between Vietnam and Romania has been unceasingly developing during the last 68 years. However, it is still modest and by no means commensurate to the potentials of the two countries, especially in economics and trade.
According to Vietnam Customs, the total trade volume between Vietnam and Romania reached USD 205.811 million last year. Out of which Vietnam’s exports to Romania and Vietnam’s imports from Romania accounted for USD 119.680 million and USD 86.131 million respectively. The main exports of Vietnam to Romania were electric and electronic machineries & equipment; coffee; seafood; artificial & synthetic fibers; aluminum & aluminum products; footwear, etc. And Vietnam’s main imports from Romania were wheat; pharmaceuticals; fertilizer; animal feed materials (residue & waste of the food industry); machinery & equipment; wool & animal hair; timber & lumber; etc.
According to the latest statistics provided by Vietnam Customs, in the first half of 2018, our bilateral merchandise trade volume recorded at USD 97.983 million. Out of which the value of Vietnam’s exports to Romania was USD 65.647 million (an increase of 28.2 percent as compared with the same period of 2017) and the value of Vietnam’s imports from Romania was USD 32.336 million (a decrease of 25.9 percent as compared with the same period of 2017).
-What has been the evolution of bilateral trade and your estimates for the years 2018/2019?
-Based on the current trend and situation of the bilateral trade between our two countries, we expect that the two-way trade volume between Vietnam and Romania would reach at least USD 220 million in 2018 and USD 240 million in 2019.
-Is there currently a formal framework for entrepreneurial cooperation between companies in the two countries (association, agreements, contracts, etc.)? What are the most significant cooperation projects?
-You may agree with me that most of the agreements and MOUs which have been signed by our two countries are aimed at facilitating our bilateral trade and investment relations and can be served as legal frameworks for business communities of both countries to cooperate and to do business in each other’s country. These include Agreement on Economic Cooperation; Agreement on Cooperation in Quarantine & Plant Protection; Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation; Agreement on the Promotion & Protection of Investment; Agreement on Maritime Transportation; Agreement on Trade & Payment; Agreement on Civil Aviation Transportation, Memorandum of Understanding on Energy Cooperation between Vietnam National Power Transmission Corporation (EVNNPT) and Transelectrica SA; MOU on Cooperation between Transgaz SA and Petro Vietnam Gazcity; MOU on Cooperation between Romanian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCIR) and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Vietnam (VCCI). In other words, we have almost all legal groundwork needed for businesses and it is the duty of business communities to turn them into reality. In addition, the Joint Romania – Vietnam Commission on Economic Cooperation which is held alternately every two years in Romania and Vietnam to review the economic relations of the two countries in many economic sectors is also an effective channel for businesses of the two countries to articulate their voice on problems and difficulties that they are facing as well as to put forward suggestions/petitions to the governments of both countries to improve the business environment.
-Do you appreciate that there are areas where a better partnership between governments and / or companies should be started at bilateral level?
-In my own opinion, the governments and businesses of the two countries can collaborate in such areas like oil & gas exploration, exploitation and refinery; development of supporting industries in Vietnam; infrastructure development and construction; ship building; agro-farming and processing; education and training with special focus on vocational training to equip Vietnamese workers with Romanian language and skill to work in Romania; to name a few.
-In the field of foreign investments, what are the sectors in which companies in your country have invested in Romania and what projects are in the attention of companies in your country? What Romanian investments are now on the business market in your country?
- As far as I know, there have been no investment projects from Vietnam in Romania so far. However, recently a number of Vietnamese companies have shown their increasing interest in participating in projects in Romania in areas like residential housing development, agro-farming and man-power supplying.
Regarding Romanian investment in Vietnam, according to Ministry of Planning & Investment of Vietnam (MPI), as of December 2017, Romania ranked 93rd among 125 countries and territories investing in Vietnam with 02 projects capitalized at USD 1.2 million.
I think that there are a lot of opportunities in many areas that governments and businesses of the two countries can work together. However, our bilateral economic and trade relations are still limited due to geographical distance, fairly high import taxes and lack of information & mutual understanding between business communities of the two countries. I am confident that with the strong commitments of the two governments together with the ratification of the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement in the coming time, all obstacles will be removed and our bilateral trade & investment relations will reach a new height.
Thank you again for your kind interest in promoting the bilateral economic and trade relations between Vietnam and Romania.
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