VN, Iran eye business boost

Wednesday, Apr 18, 2018 08:00

Stacks of Baryte powder for export to Iran in the northern province of Tuyen Quang. — VNA/VNS Photo Van Ty

Vietnamese and Iranian firms yesterday exchanged bilateral trade cooperation opportunities at the Viet Nam - Iran Business Forum. The forum came alongside the ongoing visit to Viet Nam of the Speaker of the Parliament of Iran, Ali Ardeshir Larijani.

Speaking at the forum, Doan Duy Khuong, Vice Chairman of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said he expected further economic, trade and investment cooperation promotion towards the import-export bilateral turnover goal of US$2 billion.

In 2017, two-way trade reached $164.6 million, a 41 per cent increase compared to 2016, but not quite on par with estimated bilateral potential, said Khuong.

Larijani said that the Iranian market was currently in need of imported commodities such as seeds, vegetable oil, rice and paper raw materials.

He added that Viet Nam could export to Iran competitively priced and reasonable quality goods such as rice, tea, coffee, cashew nuts, pepper, rubber, motorcycle parts and vehicles, while importing from Iran petroleum, asphalt, chemical products and plastic components.

Priority should be given to fields such as oil and gas energy and petrochemical products, especially liquefied gas, telecommunications or agro-fisheries. In addition to trade and investment, tourism is also a potential area for bilateral cooperation, said the Iranian Parliament Speaker.

At yesterday’s forum, Iranian parliament delegates said that Iran’s current foreign investment policies were extremely accommodating, with six economic zones guaranteeing 15 years of corporate tax exemption for investors, along with many other incentives.

Larijani also requested improvement in direct bilateral trade, as many of Viet Nam’s manufactured goods in Iran are imported via an intermediary country.

"We want to learn about Viet Nam’s agricultural development experience," said Larijani.

Viet Nam is ready to share its experiences of agricultural development with Iran, said Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc yesterday, adding that he expects that Iran would soon reply to the Memorandum of Understanding on rice trade for Viet Nam, which will provide support and facilitate many Vietnamese large enterprises in doing business with Iranian partners.

Viet Nam also hopes for Iran’s cooperation in ship building, wharfs construction and other auxiliary industries.

Earlier yesterday, Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, National Assembly Chairwoman, said that Viet Nam hopes to promote the telecommunication field as a breakthrough sector for bilateral cooperation.

At the moment, Viet Nam’s Viettel Military Industry and Telecoms Group and PetroVietnam Group (PVN) have shown great interest in investing in the Iranian telecommunications market.

Larijani suggested some other solutions to boost bilateral trade, including the establishment of a direct flight path and the simplification of visa procedures at the border to promote co-operative tourism. He also expressed hope that by settling issues regarding payment methods or visa issuance, two-way trade turnover will significantly improve.

The business forum was co-organized by the VCCI and the Viet Nam-Iran Business Council, in cooperation with the Iranian Embassy in Ha Noi. — VNS

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