At a recent talk between the heads of Vietnamese representative agencies abroad and business associations and enterprises in southern localities, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dang Minh Khoi affirmed that economic diplomacy is a pillar of Vietnam’s foreign policy. He said Vietnamese representative agencies abroad have been active in helping domestic companies seek new partners, explore potential markets and deal on a timely basis with international disputes.
Southern localities, including six provinces and cities in the southeastern region and 13 in the Mekong Delta, are a driving force of Vietnam’s economic growth, helping the country ensure national defense and social security.
In recent years, southeastern cities and provinces with industrial development, trade and service advantages created about 45 percent of Vietnam’s total gross domestic product (GDP) and more than 50 percent of the country’s total export value. Meanwhile, Mekong Delta localities that are strong in agriculture, trade, services, seafood processing and rice production contributed about 70 percent of total export value of aquatic products and 90 percent of total export volume of rice.
In this new period of international economic integration, Vietnamese representative agencies abroad and businesses should focus their efforts on taking advantage of opportunities offered by free trade agreements (FTAs). A signatory of 16 FTAs, Vietnam is part of a network of free trade areas accounting for 59 percent of the world population and 68 percent of global trade, enabling it to benefit from trade with major economies in the region and the world.
Clear assignments wanted
Vietnamese Ambassador to Belgium Nguyen Van Thao said that businesses should provide Vietnamese embassies abroad with clear information about problems they meet and give them clear assignments to deal with each problem. This will enable the embassies to take timely action by reporting the problems to relevant authorities in foreign countries.
Vo Tan Thanh, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry praised the role of the heads of Vietnamese representative agencies abroad in connecting domestic companies with foreign partners and promoting the sale of Vietnamese goods in foreign markets.
For their part, Vietnamese representative agencies abroad are willing to provide domestic businesses with legal support and help them understand export markets. To take advantage of FTA opportunities, especially the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), business associations and enterprises have asked Vietnamese diplomatic missions abroad to help them introduce their products and cooperate with partners in major markets such as the US, the EU and China.
Tran Viet Anh, Vice President of the Ho Chi Minh City Union of Business Associations, said enterprises need help from Vietnamese agencies abroad in obtaining updated information about foreign markets and their import-export regulations, including requirements in terms of food safety, social responsibility and environmental protection, as well as political changes in importing countries.
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