PM calls on Viet Nam, Norway to expand economic cooperation

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc highlighted potentials for Viet Nam and Norway to enhance economic cooperation, especially in renewable energy, industry and aquaculture, at the Viet Nam - Norway Business Forum in Oslo on Friday.

Addressing at the event as part of the activities in his ongoing official visit to Norway, the Government leader said that the bilateral political relations in recent years have fruitfully developed, but their economic ties have yet to achieve high efficiency.

The two countries are aiming to establish partnership as mentioned in the joint statement issued during the Norwegian prime minister’s official visit to Viet Nam in 2018, he added.

Briefing Norwegian businesses and investors on Viet Nam’s socio-economic development, PM Phuc highlighted that the country is one of four with the highest economic growth in the world.

Viet Nam has so far participated in 11 new-generation free-trade agreements, especially the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and the country is urgently coordinating with the European Union (EU) to sign the EU- Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) in 2019, he pointed out.

Coming to Viet Nam, Norwegian businesses can access many major markets in the region, especially ASEAN market, the leader said.

Regarding the trade between the two countries, PM Phuc said it has made progress but is still not matching with the existing potential, reaching only US$350 million in 2018.

He affirmed that Viet Nam is focusing on maintaining a high economic growth between 6.5-7 per cent in the coming years in order to continue to improve the scale of the economy and the per capita income in Viet Nam, which is still much lower compared to Norway.

Viet Nam will continue to reform legal institutions, restructure the economy, utilise the potential of the private economic sector, and continue to promote international integration in the direction of free trade.

The country is calling for investment to green economy, infrastructure, renewable energy, maritime economy, and industry, he said, hoping that Norwegian investors will be interested in Viet Nam and seek opportunities to promote win-win cooperation between the two countries.

In his speech, Norwegian Minister of Industry and Trade Torbjorn Roe Isaksen said the forum offers a good change for the two sides’ enterprises to explore business and investment opportunities in each country.

He stressed that Viet Nam is "a bright spot in economic development" and Norway wants to upgrade its relations with Viet Nam to an economic and trade partnership, thus benefiting the peoples and businesses of both nations.

Emphasising the potential for Vietnamese and Norwegian business communities to set up long-time cooperation, the official said the two sides have a basis to coordinate in coping with challenges related to climate change and to expand economic cooperation.

The Viet Nam-Norway economic cooperation is constantly improved through investment, production and business activities of Norwegian enterprises and investors in Viet Nam, he said, expressing his hope that more and more enterprises from his country will pour investment into Viet Nam in the time to come.

In the framework of the forum, three cooperation agreements on energy, logistics and electricity were signed between the two sides.

The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) also inked a cooperation agreement with the Norwegian trade and investment agency to develop projects and programmes to support businesses of the two sides in the process of investment and business.

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