Domestic Economy

Tehran, Hanoi Agree to Boost Trade to $2b p.a.

Two cooperation documents, one on visa exemption for official passport holders and a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in information and communications technology, were signed between Iran and Vietnam on Oct. 6
President Hassan Rouhani (L) shakes hands with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Oct 6.President Hassan Rouhani (L) shakes hands with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Oct 6.

Vietnam and Iran have pledged to further political relations and expand bilateral trade from the current $390 million to $2 billion a year.

The agreement was reached during the visit of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and his accompanying delegation to the southeastern Asian country from October 5-7.

After a meeting with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang in Hanoi on Thursday, Rouhani said the two sides have vowed to facilitate cooperation in different fields, including energy, information and communications, agriculture, fisheries, science-technology and banking, reported.

“Iran is ready to work with Vietnam in high-tech industry and new technologies, construction materials, transport infrastructure and thermoelectricity, as well as in agricultural production,” he said.

Rouhani and Quang witnessed the signing of two cooperation documents, one on visa exemption for official passport holders and a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in information and communications technology.

Meeting with the Iranian president the same day, Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc congratulated Iran on the removal of international sanctions and a nuclear deal secured with the six world powers, saying the new situation opens up great cooperation opportunities for Vietnam and Iran.

Phuc lauded the outcomes of the two presidents’ talks earlier during the day and agreements reached during the visit so far, and pledged to lead this government in implementing the agreements, toward the goal of bringing bilateral trade turnover to $2 billion.

The Vietnamese government leader proposed facilitating trade activities, especially the export of tea, seafood, rice, cashew, coffee, peppercorns, apparel and rubber from Vietnam as well as the shipments of plastic materials, metal, chemicals, ores, machinery, dried fruit and carpets from Iran.

He also supported a joint project between Iran and the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on the cultivation of Iranian long-grain rice in Vietnam for export to Iran.

The premier urged stronger cooperation in IT and telecommunications, asking the Iranian government to facilitate the operation of Vietnamese telecom companies in Iran.

He suggested Iran help PetroVietnam in resuming oil exploration at the Danan oil block in Iran, noting that Vietnam’s participation in a broad array of free trade agreements will open up more opportunities for foreign investors and businesses, including those from Iran.

Regarding the East Sea issue, Phuc asked Iran to continue supporting the maintenance of peace, stability, security, freedom and safety of navigation and aviation; the settlement of disputes by peaceful measures in line with international law and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea; the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties on the East Sea and efforts to achieve a Code of Conduct in the East Sea within 2017.

The Iranian president told Phuc that his Vietnam visit shows the strong will of Iranian leaders to further strengthen ties with Vietnam.

He expressed his nation's desire to work hand in hand with Vietnam in implementing agreements pledged by the two countries’ inter-governmental committee, particularly in the fields of energy, oil and gas, IT and agriculture.

The Iranian president said his nation stays ready to supply Vietnam with construction materials and join cooperation projects in building thermo-power plants, water supply systems, and roads and bridges.

He thanked Vietnam for backing his country in becoming a member of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia—a peace treaty among Southeast Asian countries established by the founding members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Rouhani said he hopes the two countries accelerate negotiations to sign a bilateral free trade pact and put forth the idea of establishing a maritime route between the two countries.

He also suggested stronger connection in cross-cultural exchange, tourism and education, saying Iran will provide more scholarships for Vietnamese students.

Rouhani noted his satisfaction with the signing of several deals between Vietnamese and Iranian central banks, which he said will help bolster the two countries’ comprehensive cooperation in the future.

According to Iran’s Industries, Mining and Trade Minister Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh, who co-chairs the two countries' joint committee, the two sides also discussed the possibility of establishing a direct flight between Tehran and Hanoi.

“Tehran will host the ninth edition of Vietnam-Iran Inter-Governmental Committee by the end of 2016 in order to translate agreements reached during this visit into deeds,” he added.

Also, Iran’s Agriculture Minister Mahmoud Hojjati said the two countries have reached preliminary agreements on agricultural outsourcing, animal and plant quarantine.

“Sea food industry offers tremendous potential for cooperation between Iran and Vietnam,” he said.


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