Economy, Domestic Economy

Iran, Vietnam Eye Business Boost

Iran’s Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani (C) attends the Vietnam-Iran Business Forum on April 16. (Photo: VNA)Iran’s Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani (C) attends the Vietnam-Iran Business Forum on April 16. (Photo: VNA)

Iranian and Vietnamese firms discussed trade opportunities at the Vietnam-Iran Business Forum held on Monday.

The forum was organized to mark the visit to Vietnam of Iran’s Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, Vietnam News reported on Tuesday.

Speaking at the forum, Doan Duy Khuong, vice chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said he expects further promotion of economic, trade and investment cooperation to achieve the bilateral trade target of $2 billion.

Khuong said two-way trade reached $164.6 million in 2017, a 41% increase compared to 2016, but not on a par with bilateral trade potential.

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

The Iranian Parliament speaker added that Vietnam could export competitively priced and good quality commodities such as rice, tea, coffee, cashew nuts, pepper, rubber, motorcycle parts and vehicles, while importing petroleum, asphalt, chemical products and plastic components from Iran.

“Priority should be given to fields such as oil, gas and petrochemical products, especially liquefied gas, telecommunications or fisheries. In addition to trade and investment, tourism is also a potential area for bilateral cooperation,” he said.

At the forum, the visiting delegates said 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 called for undertaking direct trade, as many of Vietnam’s manufactured goods are imported to Iran via an intermediary country.

“We want to learn about Vietnam’s agricultural development experience,” he said.

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said on Monday the country is ready to share its experiences of agricultural development with Iran, adding that he expects Iran to soon take up the memorandum of understanding on rice trade with Vietnam, which will provide support and help Vietnamese enterprises conduct trade with Iranian partners.

Vietnam also looks forward to Iran’s cooperation in shipbuilding, wharf construction and other auxiliary industries.

Earlier, Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, National Assembly chairwoman, said Vietnam hopes to promote telecommunications as a breakthrough sector for bilateral cooperation.

Vietnam’s Viettel Military Industry and Telecoms Group and PetroVietnam Group have shown great interest in investing in the Iranian telecommunications market.

Larijani suggested other measures to boost bilateral trade, including the establishment of direct flights and the simplification of visa procedures to promote tourism. He also hoped that by settling issues regarding payment methods or visa issuance, two-way trade turnover will improve significantly.

The business forum was co-organized by VCCI and the Vietnam-Iran Business Council, in cooperation with the Iranian Embassy in Hanoi.

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