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Sat, 05/06/2023 - 06:39
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Vietnam-Qatar relations have huge potential after 30 years of development: Ambassador

Hanoi, May 6 (VNA) – There remains big potential for Vietnam and Qatar to further develop relations, especially when the two nations are celebrating the 30th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties this year, Vietnamese Ambassador to Qatar Tran Duc Hung told the Vietnam News Agency on the threshold of Vice State President Vo Thi Anh Xuan’s official visit to the Middle Eastern country. The two countries set up diplomatic relations on February 8, 1993. Vietnam opened its embassy in Qatar in 2008, while Qatar opened its embassy in Hanoi two years later. The bilateral relations have developed well, reflected through regular high-level visits and meetings. The two nations have signed 12 important cooperation agreements and memoranda of understanding which have created a framework for bilateral collaboration. Bilateral trade has increased in recent years, ranging from 400 million USD to 500 million USD, in which Vietnam recorded a trade surplus. Vietnam mainly exports mobile phones, electronic products and components, electric wires and cables, garments and textiles, aquatic products and rice to Qatar, while importing plastic raw materials, chemicals, machinery, equipment, and spare parts from the Middle Eastern country. Regarding labour cooperation, the two sides signed an agreement in this field in 2008. Since January 1, 2018, Qatar Airways has operated two direct routes to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and is studying to resume direct flights linking Doha with the central city of Da Nang after the COVID-19 pandemic, which was opened in December 2018. In the fields of culture and education, the two sides signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the fields of education, higher education and scientific research on the occasion of Qatar Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani’s visit to Vietnam in 2012. On December 8, 2020, in Hanoi, the Vietnamese Ministry of Home Affairs and the Qatar Ministry of Culture and Sports inked a Memorandum of Understanding on the exchange of information between state management agencies on the youth, thus establishing a framework for youth-related cooperation programmes for the 2021 – 2025 period, said Hung. According to the diplomat, trade, investment and tourism are potential areas in the relationship between the two countries. The export of Vietnam's strong products such as agricultural products, aquatic products, garments and textiles and footwear to Qatar is still at a modest level, so there will be much potential for growth in the coming time, he said, adding that as this year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations, the two countries will hold many celebrations. This will be opportunities for people and businesses of the two countries to have more understanding about partners, thereby promoting economic, trade and investment cooperation activities. Immediately after the visit of Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan, the Ministry of Industry and Trade will lead a delegation of about 20 Vietnamese enterprises to survey the market and seek investment and business opportunities in Qatar, Hung stated. In the coming time, Vietnam wants to attract Qatar’s investments in projects in infrastructure construction, oil and gas exploitation, renewable energy development, green technology, and digital transformation. Qatar in particular and the Middle East in general are potential markets for Vietnam's tourism sector, as tourists from these nations have high spending power and long-stay trips. To increase trade between the two countries, the diplomat stressed the need to soon complete an agreement and a Memorandum of Understanding on bilateral economic, trade and investment cooperation, and mainstream economic diplomacy and trade promotion in activities in celebration of the 30th founding anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic ties./.