Việt Nam and Gabon seek to strengthen their economic and trade ties

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VIETNAM, March 25 –

Vietnamese Industry and Trade Minister Nguyễn Hồng Diên (L) and Gabonese Trade Minister Yves Fernand Manfoumbi exchange the signed letter of intent on economic and trade cooperation during Wednesday’s meeting. — Photo VNA/VNS

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam hopes Gabon will act as a bridge in helping it expand trade relations with other Central African countries, and that the two sides will strengthen relations in industries in which they have strength. force, said Minister of Industry and Commerce Nguyễn Hồng Diên. .

He made the remarks during a meeting on Wednesday with Gabonese Trade Minister Yves Fernand Manfoumbi, who is joining a visiting economic and trade delegation from the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) led by the Secretary General of OIF, Louise Mushikiwabo.

Diên cited statistics showing that bilateral trade stood at around $63.5 million in 2021, up 22% from the previous year. This included $17.6 million in Vietnamese exports to and $45.9 million in imports from Gabon.

Despite the growth in trade, revenues still do not match the potential of both sides, he noted, adding that Việt Nam mainly ships rice, plastic products, seafood, fruits and vegetables. in Gabon while purchasing timber, wood products, ores and minerals from the latter.

To harness the potential of the two countries and strengthen their economic and trade ties, the Vietnamese minister called for increased mutual visits at all levels and optimal conditions for businesses to meet directly when possible.

He also suggested Gabon prioritize the import of rice, medical supplies such as face masks and personal protective equipment, and other products from Việt Nam.

Praising Gabon’s rich natural resources such as oil and manganese, Diên said it was an opportunity for the two countries to strengthen trade and investment ties, and that a stronger partnership with the African nation also corresponds to Việt Nam’s policy of diversifying export and import markets and sources of materials for domestic manufacturing.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade will encourage companies to consider cooperation with Gabonese partners in areas such as oil and gas, food, textile-clothing, leather-shoes and mining industries, he added.

For his part, Manfoumbi invited the Vietnamese minister and companies to visit Gabon in July to explore opportunities for cooperation and investment in priority areas for his country.

He also stressed the need to activate cooperation activities at this stage to help the two countries accelerate economic recovery and post-pandemic development.

At the meeting, officials agreed to assign staff to discuss detailed coordination plans, including the possibility of signing a memorandum of understanding on the establishment of a joint task force.

The two ministers also signed a letter of intent on economic and trade cooperation between their ministries. —VNS

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