Forging Vietnam-Uzbekistan Cooperation

Mon, 01 Apr 2024 22:28:00  |  Print  |  Email   Share:

“Vietnam is an important partner of Uzbekistan in Southeast Asia, a rising star in international business. It is natural that over 400 European Union enterprises consider Vietnam a great place for investment,” said Mr. Bakhtiyor Saidov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan, on his recent official visit to Vietnam.

VCCI President Pham Tan Cong receives the Uzbekistan delegations led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Bakhtiyor Saidov

Minister Bakhtiyor Saidov was accompanied by a working delegation of 30 high-ranking government officials and more than 40 leaders of business associations and large corporations of Uzbekistan engaged in agriculture, agricultural machinery, livestock, agricultural products, foods, textile and garment, pharmaceuticals, travel and tourism, electronics and commerce.

According to data from Vietnam Customs, in 2023, the trade value of the two countries was US$160 million, up 32% year on year, of which Vietnam’s exports were worth US$73.5 million (up 63.1%) and its imports valued US$86.2 million (up 13.5%).

Vietnam’s main exports to Uzbekistan included computers, electronic products and components, wood and wood products and plastic raw materials. Meanwhile, its imports from Uzbekistan consisted of materials and accessories for textile and garment, footwear, plastic materials and fertilizers. However, neither has invested any project in each other’s country to date. Only some small Vietnamese companies are operating in restaurant, agricultural farming and fishery.

VCCI President Pham Tan Cong said, despite the establishment of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and Uzbekistan in 1992, and the signing of an economic and trade cooperation agreement in 1994, the current state of their economic and trade relations remains relatively subdued in comparison to their potential.

Indeed, there exists a substantial scope for collaboration between the two nations. Uzbekistan boasts a robust cotton industry, with its cotton exports ranking third globally. Additionally, it is a significant producer of gold, natural gas, chemicals, and machinery within Central Asia. Conversely, Vietnam has a high demand for cotton imports to support its textile and garment industry. Furthermore, Vietnamese industrial products, consumer goods, and key exports such as tea, coffee, and seafood are well-positioned to cater to Uzbekistan’s import requirements.

In 2008, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) entered into a cooperative agreement with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan. However, it is acknowledged by both parties that the collaboration has yet to yield the anticipated results. Presently, efforts are being made to establish the Vietnam-Uzbekistan Business Council, with the objective of enhancing business support on both sides.

The overview of the meeting with Foreign Minister Bakhtiyor Saidov and the accompanying business delegation from Uzbekistan

VCCI President Cong committed to enhancing collaboration with the Embassy to develop mechanisms that will bolster trade and investment ties between the two nations. This includes the formulation of specific strategies for cooperation between the VCCI and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan, to support the business community in seizing mutual business and investment opportunities.

“As a representative of the business community in Vietnam, VCCI is steadfast in its commitment to actively support both domestic and international enterprises,” he emphasized.

Agreeing with VCCI President Cong, Minister Bakhtiyor Saidov stressed that Vietnam is one of Uzbekistan’s most important and traditional partners in the region. Uzbekistan considers Vietnam an important partner in Southeast Asia, a ‘rising star’ in the global economy.

Businesses from both sides have much potential for cooperation, he said. Uzbekistan has abundant natural resources and a potential market. Since 2017, Uzbekistan has opened its doors to the world and the Government of Uzbekistan has spared no effort to create the most favorable investment environment for domestic and foreign businesses.

“We realize that the Vietnamese Government is determined to promote cooperation with Uzbekistan in many ways. In the last five years, the bilateral trade value has increased 2.5 times. Uzbekistan has more than 20 businesses investing in Vietnam but the figure is not commensurate with the great potential of the two countries. We have missed many opportunities. It is time to improve the bilateral cooperation,” he suggested.

Minister Bakhtiyor Saidov believed that Vietnamese companies can seek business investment opportunities in Uzbekistan’s energy, mechanical, chemical, textile and garment, footwear, furniture and food industries.

Furthermore, Uzbekistan stands prepared to supply the Vietnamese market with a variety of goods, particularly those that are environmentally friendly, along with fertilizers, minerals, and metals.

Uzbekistan has many consumer products introduced to the growing market of nearly 100 million Vietnamese people. Uzbekistan is ready to introduce Vietnamese businesses to the entire Central Asian market with great development potential. Uzbekistan is ready to develop industries with Vietnam such as industrial equipment, agriculture and metal. “Our door for cooperation is always open to welcome Vietnamese businesses,” Minister Bakhtiyor Saidov affirmed.

Uzbekistan is endeavoring to support Vietnamese businesses, he added. In recent years, Uzbekistan has issued more than 200 business licenses, halved many tariffs and lowered VAT from 15% to 9%. Energy, transportation, health and education industries are applied public-private investment forms. The legal foundation is prepared for expanding business support.

In the coming time, Uzbekistan will open trade representative offices in Hanoi and Vietnam and open direct flights to Vietnam to further foster business cooperation between the two countries, said Minister Bakhtiyor Saidov. These are positive moves for Vietnamese businesses to bring more goods into the Uzbekistani market in particular and the potential Central Asian market in general. In the opposite direction, Uzbekistan can access the ASEAN regional market through Vietnam.

By: Huong Ly, Vietnam Business Forum



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