Tehran, Hanoi Can Bridge ASEAN, Mideast Markets
Economy, Domestic Economy

Tehran, Hanoi Can Bridge ASEAN, Mideast Markets

Iran and Vietnam can act as a bridge between two major markets of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Middle East, said Vietnam’s President Truong Tan Sang on Tuesday during the two countries’ joint economic forum in Tehran.
ASEAN is a political and economic organization of 10 Southeast Asian countries, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
Sang’s comments came after his meeting with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani on Monday, where the two sides set the target of increasing bilateral trade from the current $350 million to $2 billion a year within the next five years, IRNA reported.
According to the Iranian Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh, the target is within reach.
“Expanding economic exchanges between the two countries is now possible, thanks to the MoU signed between their respective central banks on Monday,” he said.  
Nematzadeh added that agriculture, fisheries, oil and gas, mining and transportation sectors offer great potential for cooperation between Tehran and Hanoi.
“Vietnam has reduced up to 97% of its import tariffs to zero,” said the president of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vu Tien Loc.
“This is a golden opportunity for economic players to tap into Vietnam’s huge market.”
Loc said Iran is the third largest importer of rice and Vietnam is one of the major exporters of the staple food, adding that Iran can meet half of its need for footwear through Vietnam.
Referring to the possibility of carpet imports from Iran, he said, “Persian carpets can become a permanent fixture in all Vietnamese homes.”
Since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties in 1973, Vietnam and Iran have engaged in mutual cooperation in the fields of politics, economy, culture, education, and science and technology. However, statistics show their economic interactions remained limited and are yet to match their potential.

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