Vietnam - Czech Republic's Most Important Trade Partner in ASEAN
|Minister of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic Jozef Sikela. Photo: VNA|
Czech Minister of Industry and Trade Jozef Sikela said that in the first half of 2023, exports from the Czech Republic to Vietnam increased by 48%, while exports from Vietnam to the Czech Republic increased by 7%.
Minister Sikela assessed that this result emphasized the strong and deep cooperation between the governments and business sectors of the two countries. Sikela said that the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade believes that 2023 will witness a new record in Czech-Vietnam trade turnover.
Minister Sikela shared that in February 2023, he had an official visit to Vietnam, along with a Czech business delegation. During this visit, he and Czech businesses had effective discussions with representatives of state agencies. Minister Sikela reviewed the outstanding results of the visit such as the signing of a civil pilot training contract between Vietnam Airlines and the Czech company FAIR.
He said that in addition to supporting Škoda Auto's projects in Vietnam, a promising cooperative relationship was also established with Vietnam Electricity (EVN) with many potential projects in the energy field.
Following this visit, the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade is planning to hold the 8th meeting of the Czech-Vietnam Economic Joint Committee in Hanoi next year, as well as officially participate in one of the major trade fairs in Ho Chi Minh City.
Referring to the European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), effective from August 1, 2020, the Czech Minister of Industry and Trade emphasized that this agreement marks an important milestone in the development of economic, trade, and investment relations between the European Union (EU) member countries and Vietnam in the 21st century.
According to Minister Sikela, because the economies of the two sides are highly complementary, this opened up huge opportunities for EU as well as Vietnamese companies in terms of market access for goods and services through tariff reduction, removal of technical barriers to trade, and the opening of markets to government procurement.
|Czech Minister of Industry and Trade Jozef Sikela at a press conference on July 26, 2023. Photo: VNA|
Minister Sikela assessed that Vietnam's strong competitiveness in agricultural, food products, and labor-intensive industries is undeniable. Meanwhile, the EU, with its capital, high-tech management expertise and top quality, is a reliable supplier for Vietnam.
The EU's ability to supply advanced technologies, sophisticated machinery, and equipment tailored to Vietnam's needs for manufacturing sectors helped boost economic growth and increase export turnover in both markets.
Regarding the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), he assessed that the continued implementation of the trade deal, especially the gradual reduction of Vietnam's automobile import tax rate by 78% by 2030, can significantly contribute to the expansion of the presence of his country’s automobile industry in Vietnam, increasing export and investment projects from the Central European country.
On September 2, at the 78th anniversary of Vietnam National Day in Prague, Vietnamese Ambassador to the Czech Republic Thai Xuan Dung also said that economic cooperation between the two countries had grown positively since the EVFTA took effect in 2020.
Bilateral trade turnover has grown significantly, always remaining at double-digit levels in the three years 2020 to 2022, reaching US$2.34 billion in 2022.
At the ceremony, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Eduard Hulicus emphasized that the Czech Republic wishes to promote cooperation with Vietnam in many fields to maintain friendship and expand multifaceted cooperation between the two countries.
In particular, tourism cooperation between the two countries will develop vigorously if the establishment of a direct flight between Hanoi and Prague is implemented as desired by the leaders of the two countries.
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