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Ample space remains to foster Việt Nam-Saudi Arabia relations

VIETNAM, October 19 -  

RIYADH — Plenty of room remained available for strengthening the bilateral relationship between Việt Nam and Saudi Arabia, especially in urban development, Halal food, employment, human resource training, and digital and green transformation.

Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính delivered this statement during the Việt Nam-Saudi Arabia Business Forum held in Riyadh on Thursday.

The PM said Saudi Arabia was Việt Nam's most important partner in the Middle East region. Meanwhile, Việt Nam was also an important partner and an effective bridge to the ASEAN region for Saudi Arabia.

Despite the positive achievements, bilateral relations between Việt Nam and Saudi Arabia in trade and investment have failed to match the two countries' potentials, he said.

With their favourable geographical positions, Việt Nam and Saudi Arabia played an important role in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the PM said.

He expressed his wish that the two countries would coordinate closely and become a bridge so that businesses from both sides could not only participate in each other's markets but also expand into the vast ASEAN and GCC playgrounds.

He reaffirmed the Vietnamese Government's commitment to creating favourable conditions for businesses, including Saudi Arabian businesses, to invest in and conduct sustainable businesses in the country in the spirit of the "harmonious benefits, shared risks" mindset.

The PM asked ministries, branches, associations, and the Federation of Saudi Chambers (FSC) to continue supporting Việt Nam to advertise its investment environment and promote cooperation between the two business communities to bring practical benefits to the two countries.

In his speech at the forum, PM Chính said over the nearly 40 years of đổi mới (renewal), Việt Nam has become the fourth largest economy in ASEAN.

The country has also been named among the 20 economies with the largest trade scale in the world and has become the world's leading exporter of rice and many agricultural products. It has also participated in 16 free trade agreements with most of the world's major countries and economies.

Amid the high inflation, tight monetary policies and high interest rates recorded in many countries, Việt Nam has made efforts to maintain macroeconomic stability, control inflation, promote growth, and ensure major balances of the economy.

The PM added that Việt Nam has been positively evaluated by the international community and investors for its growth prospects and business investment environment. At the same time, many reputable international organisations predicted that Việt Nam would continue to maintain a growth rate among the highest in the region and the world.

"The above results are thanks to the efforts of the entire political system, the support of people and businesses, especially the effective assistance of the international community, including the Government and business community of Saudi Arabia," PM Chính noted.

FSC Chairman Hassan Al Hwaiziy praised the investment environment in Việt Nam. He outlined urban development, petrochemical industry, minerals, tourism, entertainment, steel production, renewable energy, food industry, information technology, and textiles as sectors that Saudi Arabian businesses wanted to invest in the Southeast Asian country.

Delegates attending the forum discussed the potential for trade, industry and energy cooperation between the two nations; Vietnamese policies on foreign investment attraction as well as trade and investment situation between the two countries.

At the same time, they also made proposals to promote investment cooperation between the businesses of the two countries, especially in the fields where one side had needs and the other side had strengths.

The event also saw several MoUs inked between the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and FSC; between Zamil Industrial Investment Co and Zamil Steel Buildings Vietnam Co and between the Trade Office at the Vietnamese Embassy in Saudi Arabia and Data Management Cooperation Co.

By September 2023, Saudi Arabia had seven projects in Việt Nam with a total registered capital of US$8.27 million, ranking 79th among 144 countries and territories investing in Việt Nam.

Over the past nine months of this year, bilateral trade reached over $2 billion.— VNS