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PM calls on Vietnam, Norway to expand economic cooperation

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc highlighted potentials for Vietnam and Norway to enhance economic cooperation, especially in renewable energy, industry and aquaculture, at the Vietnam-Norway Business Forum in Oslo on May 24.

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 Vietnam in 2018, he added.

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

Vietnam 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-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) in 2019, he pointed out.

Coming to Vietnam, 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 350 million USD in 2018.

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

Vietnam 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 Vietnam 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 Vietnam is "a bright spot in economic development" and Norway wants to upgrade its relations with Vietnam 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 Vietnam-Norway economic cooperation is constantly improved through investment, production and business activities of Norwegian enterprises and investors in Vietnam, he said, expressing his hope that more and more enterprises from his country will pour investment into Vietnam 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.