Nearly 20 Vietnamese enterprises visited Colombia and Chile from September 26 to October 3 with a view to further tapping into the Pacific Alliance markets, comprising Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, and others in Latin America.
The trip was part of a series of business matching events under the 2023 national trade promotion programme held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Addressing over 100 Vietnamese and Colombian enterprises at a workshop in Bogota on September 28, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said Colombia is currently the fifth largest trading partner of Vietnam in Latin America, and the two sides target bilateral trade at 1 billion USD by 2025. They hold much potential to become entrepôts of cargo and investment flows connecting with others in the regions and the world.
He expressed his hope that as an active member of the Pacific Alliance, Colombia will act as a bridge helping Vietnamese goods enter Latin America, including member countries of the alliance.
In return, Vietnam is ready to pave the way for Colombian goods to expand presence in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries and the Asia-Pacific as a whole, Hai remarked.
For her part, Soraya Caro Vargas, Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism of Colombia, voiced her delight at the progress of bilateral trade in recent years, especially amid the sustained coordination and mutual support at international organisations, multilateral forums, and inter-regional cooperation mechanisms.
At the event, enterprises operating in the textile – garment, handicraft, consumer goods, food, and oil and gas industries from both countries met and sought cooperation opportunities.
On October 2, a Vietnam – Chile business forum took place in Santiago with the participation of over 100 companies of the two countries. The forum updated participating companies on each country’s policies, issued forecasts, and suggested measures for helping enterprises access each other’s markets, maximise current incentives, and tap into potential.
Vietnamese Ambassador to Chile Pham Truong Giang noted that bilateral economic and trade ties have been flourishing and producing positive results over the past years. Chile now ranks fourth among trading partners of Vietnam in Latin America, after Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, while Vietnam is the biggest trading partner of Chile in ASEAN.
He held that considering the two market sizes and openness to international trade, much room remains for economic, trade, and investment partnerships to develop on par with potential. To facilitate bilateral trade and investment, apart from the Governments’ will and policies, it is critically important to enhance the connectivity between their enterprises.
Chilean businesses said Vietnamese goods are becoming increasingly popular in this market thanks to good quality, diverse designs, and relatively competitive prices thanks to preferential treatment under the Vietnam – Chile Free Trade Agreement and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).