Vietnam, Bolivia prioritise economic, trade ties

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh made the statement at a reception for Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca in La Paz on December 5 as part of his official visit to the Latin American nation from December 5-7.


This is the highest–level visit to Bolivia by a Vietnamese leader since the two countries established their diplomatic ties.


The visit aims to enhance the friendship, cooperation and mutual support between the two countries, creating momentum for the relationship to develop strongly, both bilaterally and multilaterally.


The Deputy PM noted with pleasure the active progress in the growing political and diplomatic ties.


Despite moderate results in economic and trade ties, Vietnam and Bolivia still hold a lot of potential for cooperation in this field, he said, suggesting the early establishment of a legal framework for the bilateral economic relationship.


In reply, Choquehuanca spoke highly of the achievements Vietnam has attained in national development. He also highlighted cooperative potential the two sides should extract for the interests of each country's people.


Following the meeting, Ninh witnessed the signing of a framework agreement in trade and investment by Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh and his Bolivian counterpart Clarems Endara.


The agreement is expected to create a foundation for the formation of an inter-governmental committee for trade and investment that facilitates cooperation in this field.


The same day, he held a working session with representatives of Bolivian businesses organised by the Bolivian Confederation of Private Enterprises (CEPB).


The Deputy PM said his visit proves the Vietnamese Government's resolve, together with the Bolivian Government, to tighten the comprehensive cooperation with priorities given to economics and trade.


At the meeting, Deputy Minister Anh made a brief presentation on Vietnam's investment environment and opportunities in Vietnam, saying the freshly-inked framework agreement and the upcoming establishment of the intergovernmental committee will contribute to boosting the two countries' relations.


Vietnam welcomes and pledges favourable conditions for Bolivian businesses to operate in the country and access the market in Asia-Pacific, he said.


CEPB President Daniel Sanchez Soliz encouraged Bolivian enterprises to visit the Southeast Asian country to learn development model and explore business opportunities.


Since Vietnam and Bolivia set up diplomatic ties on January 10, 1987, the two countries have seen progress in their relations.


During the visit to Vietnam in September last year by Bolivian Deputy President Alvaro Garcia Linera, the two sides reached an agreement on visa exemption for diplomatic and official passport holders.


A memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the establishment of a political consultation mechanism was also reached by the two foreign ministries on this occasion.


Earlier, the two countries signed another MoU on cooperation in gas exploitation in Bolivia, which boasts the second largest gas reserves in Latin America, only after Venezuela.


According to the Bolivian National Institute of Statistics, two-way trade between Vietnam and Bolivia reached 11 million USD in 2012, representing a year-on-year rise of 55 percent.


Of the sum, Vietnam shipped 7.42 million USD worth of goods to Bolivia, mainly footwear, rubber, motorbike spare parts, and imported 3.587 million USD worth of commodities from the country, including machinery and wood products.