Vietnam and Kazakhstan have great potential for economic cooperation, according to the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI). Vietnam has strength in agricultural products, seafood, garments and footwear, while Kazakhstan has abundant natural resources and highly qualified human resources in science and metallurgy, as well as the mining, oil and gas industries.
However, economic cooperation between the two countries is still limited and does not match their potential. Two-way trade turnover between the two countries was only US$44 million in 2010 and just more than US$26 million in the first eight months of this year.
At the forum, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh said that by coming to Vietnam, Kazakhstan businesses will not only gain access to a large market of nearly 90 million consumers, they will also be able to reach other big markets in the ASEAN free trade area, as well as China, Japan and the Republic of Korea. He expressed his hope that Vietnam and the customs union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia will get down to work on a free trade agreement soon.
At the event, Kazakhstan and Vietnam signed an agreement to establish a joint business council.
Kazakhstan Deputy Prime Minister Aset O. Issekeshev said that the council will be a bridge for the business circles of two countries to exchange information and seek opportunities for cooperation.
The forum also witnessed the signing of cooperative agreements in the field of oil and gas between Petro Vietnam and the Kusto Group and between Thai Son joint venture and Astana to buy Vietnamese agricultural and seafood products.