(VOV) - The Vietnam-Latin America Trade and Investment Forum, the largest ever at the ministerial level, opened in Hanoi on July 5.
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Speaking at the opening ceremony, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh underscored the traditional friendship between Vietnam and Latin America, which is a firm foundation for the development of multifaceted cooperation, especially in trade and investment.
In order to fully tap the huge potential for cooperation, Mr Minh said the forum will focus on “Vietnam - Latin America business investment and ideas for trade - investment promotion,” “Vietnam - Latin America traffic connectivity, logistics, telecommunications and services” and “Vietnam - Latin America partnership in agriculture and energy”.
In his key-note speech, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung reaffirmed Vietnam’s open-door foreign policy of strengthening ties with Latin America for the sake of peace, cooperation, and development in the region and the world.
Vietnam is willing to increase cooperation in oil and gas exploration, energy, and investment in the fields of consumer goods production and agricultural and aquatic processing, he said, adding that the Southeast Asian nation also has a huge demand for materials from Latin American countries.
The Government emphasized the importance of the forum, which, he said, will open up opportunities for both sides to strengthen the traditional relationship and comprehensive cooperation for mutual benefit. He asked participants in the forum to discuss ways to grasp new opportunities and map out cooperation mechanisms.
Mr Dung said both sides have enormous potential for promoting socio-economic development.
PM Dung highly appreciated Latin American people’s support for Vietnam in the past struggle for national independence as well as in the current process of national construction and defence and international integration.
Gabriel Duque Mildenberg, who is vice minister of foreign trade of Colombia, stressed the need to establish cooperation between developing nations.
He said Vietnam is a newly-emerging market with a population of 90 million. In the past 20 years, the country has achieved annual economic growth rate of 6-8 percent with export turnover reaching US$202 billion and FDI attraction hitting US$14.7 billion.
Thanks to its open-door policy and various mechanisms for trade liberalization, Vietnam has become an attractive destination for investors and a gateway for Latin American countries to penetrate markets in Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific, Mr Mildenberg said.
Latin America has a total population of 570 million. With GDP reaching US$5,500 billion, it is a huge market for Vietnam and many other countries in Asia.
Other participants expressed hopes that the forum will provide fresh impetus for Vietnam and Latin America to tighten ties of trade and investment operation for mutual benefit.