Vietnam and Bulgaria should focus on ironing out snags in each specific field and give priority to areas of their strength to raise their total trade turnover.
In recent years, Vietnam and Bulgaria have made significant progress in economic cooperation, but it is not yet up to par as expected as annual two-way trade turnover remains below US$100 million, says Nguyen Tuan Hai, a representative from the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Plenty of opportunity for cooperation
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam mainly exports rice, cashew nuts, coffee, pepper, frozen seafood, rubber products, leather, garment, footwear, computers and electronic components and imports pharmaceuticals, pesticides, wheat, animal food, materials and additives for animal food processing, manufacturing machinery and equipment, and construction materials.
Bulgaria has 7 projects worth US$30 million in Vietnam.
Svetla Zapryanova from the Belgium Ministry of Economy and Energy says the volume of trade exchange between the two countries has not matched their potential. “We are determined to lift bilateral trade ties to higher level,” Zapryanova affirms.
Bulgaria considers Vietnam as a bridge to its business penetration into Southeast Asian markets and it is ready to help Vietnamese businesses enter European markets, Zapryanova adds.
Currently, many Bulgarian businesses are willing to cooperate and share experience with Vietnamese partners in the fields of energy, health care, education and cosmetics.
Bulgarian Ambassador to Vietnam Evgueni Stoytchex says the two sides should join efforts to promote and diversify bilateral trade activities. One of the best ways is to turn Bulgaria into a destination for Vietnamese exports to Balkan and the EU through Varna, Burga and Danube ports as well as industrial zones.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) is an important factor behind effective economic cooperation between the two countries. So the two sides should increase their investment cooperation in the potential areas of energy, pharmacy and garment.
Bulgarian companies are keen to invest in construction, irrigation and other infrastructure projects in Vietnam.
Ambassador Stoytchex says his Government is looking forward to more foreign investment in joint ventures to raise the competitiveness of Bulgarian exports.
A MoIT representative says Vietnam’s trade exchange with Bulgaria is still at a low level as compared with other Central and Eastern European countries as Bulgaria has a small population of 7.3 million.
To raise bilateral trade turnover, the two countries should give priority to areas of their strength, such as electric power, renewable energy, clean energy, energy security, transport infrastructure, information technology, biotechnology transfer, post-harvest processing and tourism.
They should also join efforts to conduct market research through trade promotion programs, business forums, fairs and seminars, says Zapryanova.