VOV.VN – The leader of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) speaking at a recent economic forum in Hanoi has said that Vietnam commercial trade with Bulgaria is an important bedrock of the economy.
Increased trade has the potential to create thousands of good paying jobs across the country, helping to lift more and more people out of poverty, said Minister Tran Tuan Anh of the MOIT.
However, the share of external trade with Bulgaria as a percentage of the overall Vietnam economy has been shrinking over the past few years, a decline that is especially disconcerting.
Looking at the current year’s trade statistics, one can see that the need for joint governmental action to stimulate trade is more urgent than ever, underscored Mr Anh.
He cited official government statistics that showed for the first eight months of 2016 combined imports and exports of Vietnam with Bulgaria tallied in at just US$96.7 million (imports of US$65.7 million and exports of US$31 million), resulting in a trade shortfall of US$34.7 million.
Bulgarian Economy Ministry said Economy Minister Bozhidar Loukarski, in turn dilated on the business climate in Bulgaria and the environments’ conduciveness to trade, saying his country could serve as a gateway for Vietnamese goods to access the EU.
Mr Loukarski said medicines, insecticides and herbicides, wheat and sunflower seed are currently the top Bulgarian exports to Vietnam.
Meanwhile Bulgaria has a need from Vietnam for increased imports of pharmaceuticals, chemicals, industrial machinery and electronic products along with IT technology, products and services.
He also discussed laws and regulations affecting businesses and how Bulgaria’s laws differ in many respects from those in Vietnam, spending extra time talking about specific rules for Vietnamese and Bulgarian companies to establish joint ventures through which to conduct their business relationships.
Stefan Staikov, CEO of the National Industrial Zones Company, part of a contingent of businesses accompanying Mr Loukarski on his visit to Vietnam, said his company currently has many opportunities in six regions of Bulgaria for Vietnamese manufacturers and those operating in the logistics segment of the economy.
Petar Stefanov, CEO of the Varna Sea Port spoke in depth regarding the harbour’s capabilities for handling and temporary storage of cargo shipped from Vietnam to Bulgaria and about the logistic services the port authority provides.
On behalf of the Bulgarian Agriculture Ministry, ministerial advisor Iliyan Kostov told those in attendance about the prolific opportunities in agriculture such as those in livestock breeding, the poultry markets and silkworm farming.
He also noted that Bulgaria has a need to import dairy products. Currently Bulgaria imports dairy products from Japan so there is already a roadmap for Vietnam to follow to ship dairy products to Bulgaria.
The two ministers agreed to the proposition they should establish a working group of experts to coordinate activities to identify potential areas for expanded trade and to assist interested parties from both nations.
The meeting ended with the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Bulgarian Development Bank and the Vietnam Development Bank. The two lenders have agreed to support small and medium-sized businesses in a wide variety of spheres.