VOV.VN - The bilateral relationship between the nation and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has grown and flourished across multiple areas, ranging from politics and diplomacy to trade, investment, labour, and tourism, over the last three decades since they first established diplomatic ties on August 1, 1993.
The UAE Government and people strongly supported Vietnamese struggle for national independence and national construction.
Political trust and mutual understanding between the two sides has been continuously strengthened, clearly proven by the regular exchange of delegations at all levels between the two countries held in recent times. This has therefore contributed to deepening bilateral relations and opening up many co-operation opportunities in many areas.
In April this year Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien and Minister of State for Foreign Trade of the UAE Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi signed a Ministerial Declaration regarding starting negotiations on a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA). This marked a crucial milestone in bilateral ties whilst ushering in a new phase of strategic co-operation in a variety of fields.
This represents a basis for lifting mutual ties to a new development level, contributing to expanding the export market of Vietnamese goods and services to the UAE, and creating a premise for the country to boost trade and service relations with the Middle East and African countries in general.
The deal also intensifies the UAE’s investment in the Vietnamese market and seeks to expand co-operation opportunities to other fields such as innovation, renewable energy, investment, logistics, technology, tourism, and agriculture.
Both sides have also enhanced co-ordination and mutual support at multilateral organizations and forums, improved the overall effectiveness of the political consultation mechanism between the two foreign ministries, and promoted the role of Vietnam and the UAE in the relationship between ASEAN and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Economic ties has always been an important pillar and represented a bright spot in the bilateral linkages. At present, the UAE is now the country’s largest trading partner in the Middle East-North Africa region.
Statistics compiled by the General Department of Customs and the Ministry of Industry and Trade indicate that two-way trade in the 2016 to 2020 period stood at US$ 5 billion to US$5.5 billion per year. In 2021, the figure reached US$5.3 billion, up 21% on-year. In the first three months of the year, two-way trade hit US$1.12 billion, expanding by 22.14% compared to the same period from last year.
Currently, Vietnamese goods account for approximately 2.2% of the import market share in the UAE, while the Middle East country represents some 0.2% of Vietnam's import market share.
The two nations are therefore striving to lift two-way trade to US$10 billion and above in the near future.
Regarding investment ties, the UAE is one of the major investors in the Vietnamese market, with projects such as Hiep Phuoc Port and Halong Star Hotel, along with tourism projects in central Da Nang with a total investment capital of about US$4 billion.
The potential for further economic and trade co-operation remains huge because the two economies have complementary strengths, especially when the CEPA is signed.
According to Luong Hoang Thai, director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT)’s Multilateral Trade Policy Department, the CEPA will help the Vietnamese side to not only export goods directly to the UAE, but also to make inroads into the Middle East market through the "UAE gateway".
Experts have indicated that CEPA will be a legal basis for the two countries to ramp up linkages in oil and gas exploration and production, share technical expertise, and train high-quality human resources in the industry.
At present, there are about 3,500 Vietnamese labourers working legally in the UAE, primarily in the fields of construction, mechanical, shipbuilding, and services.
With the available co-operation potential and efforts of both sides, economic, trade, and investment collaboration between Vietnam and the UAE are expected to develop fruitfully for the greater benefit of both nation’s citizens.