Vietnam president plans to push trade with China to $100 bln a year

By VnExpress   May 12, 2017 | 03:30 pm GMT+7
Vietnam president plans to push trade with China to $100 bln a year
Vietnam's President Tran Dai Quang (behind L) and China's President Xi Jinping (behind R) attend a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, China May 11, 2017. Photo by China

'Vietnam is willing to create favorable conditions for Chinese enterprises to do business and invest in Vietnam.'

Vietnam welcomes Chinese investment and wants to raise trade with its largest partner from the current $72 billion to $100 billion, Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang said at a conference in Beijing on Friday.

Vietnam has set a goal of raising trade between both sides by pushing exports of agricultural produce, electronics and consumer goods, while opening doors to allow more Chinese products to enter the local market, Quang was quoted by Vietnam News Agency as saying.

“Vietnam is willing to create favorable conditions for Chinese enterprises to do business and invest in Vietnam,” he said, as cited in the report.

China is one of Vietnam's ten largest investors, with total investment of $11.2 billion.

The country has been Vietnam's largest trade partner in recent years, with bilateral turnover reaching nearly $72 billion in 2016. However, Vietnam's trade deficit with China hit $28 billion in 2016, despite falling 15 percent from the previous year.

Vietnam in turn has been China’s top trade partner and its gateway into Southeast Asia, Quang said.

Chinese tourists account for the most foreign arrivals in Vietnam, thanks partly to the opening of various air routes, Quang said. Vietnam has received 1.2 million Chinese visitors already this year, more than a quarter of all foreign arrivals, according to official data.

Several cooperation agreements for milk distribution, construction of a rice plant and tourism were signed between businesses from the two countries at the event.

Quang is in Beijing to attend a weekend conference on an ambitious scheme proposed by Xi to build a new Silk Road connecting China to Asia, Europe and beyond through massive infrastructure investment.

His counterpart Xi Jinping is scheduled to pay an official state-level visit to Vietnam during the APEC summit this November.