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A recent four-day meeting in Doha between Vietnam and Qatar saw a breakthrough in the two countries' economic, investment and trade relations, further strengthening their bilateral ties.

A recent four-day meeting in Doha between Vietnam and Qatar saw a breakthrough in the two countries’ economic, investment and trade relations, further strengthening their bilateral ties.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, in the first ever visit by a Vietnamese Prime Minister to Qatar since the two countries established diplomatic ties in February 8, 1993, reached a consensus with his Qatar counterpart, Hamad bin Jasim bin Jabir al-Thani, to strengthen bilateral cooperation between their two countries.

Part of this consensus includes implementing concrete measures to boost cooperation in labor and trade, establishing an energy and food partnership, and pledging to push their respective foreign ministries to agree on visa exemptions for diplomats and official passport holders.

“Since Vietnam had the honor of hosting the Qatari Prime Minister in 2007 and 2008, relations between our two countries have become ever closer, particularly regarding economic matters. Thus turning both countries’ potential into reality that benefits both sides,” said PM Dung. “Vietnam appreciates its cooperative ties with Qatar, as an important partner in the Gulf region.”

On the second day of the meeting, during the Qatar-Vietnam Business Forum, Vietnamese and Qatari companies signed several Memoranda of Cooperation to help boost trade and investment ties. Vietnam was touted to have a huge investment potential for Qatari investors, particularly in the fields of real estate, infrastructure development, tourism, energy, agriculture and food processing and banking and finance, because of its human and natural resources, competitive costs, good legal environment, economic growth and market potential, and political and society security.

The Vietnamese and Qatari Prime Ministers also signed treaties on avoidance of double taxation, encouraging investment and protection, cooperation in air cargo transportation, and an agreement on agriculture cooperation and investment promotion.

But one of the main headliners of the four-day meeting was the establishment of a $1 billion joint investment fund to be used in several sectors, including agriculture and tourism. Qatar hopes that the joint fund will enhance its current and future investments in Vietnam, and Vietnam expects that the fund will help market Vietnamese products in Qatar and the region.

Vietnam and Qatar established diplomatic ties in 1993, but have only recently been more active in strengthening their political and economic ties. This most recent visit of the Vietnamese Prime Minister to Qatar is just one of the many high-level state and private sector visits between the two countries that have become more frequent in the last four years. Such frequent visits aim to boost cooperation between Vietnam and Qatar in different aspects.

The year 2008 alone saw a plethora of activities between the two countries. In February, Qatar agreed to receive 25,000 Vietnamese workers after it signed a labor agreement with Vietnam. In April, during his official visit to Vietnam, the Qatari Prime Minister signed a Memorandum of Understanding with his Vietnamese counterpart on cooperation between the Qatari Investment Fund and the State Capital Investment Corporation of Vietnam. Vietnam and Qatar also agreed to set up a $1 billion petroleum and agriculture fund that month.

It is evident that cooperation between Vietnam and Qatar will only strengthen and improve as they discover more areas where their countries can mutually benefit in.

Source: www.AsiaEcon.org
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Source: www.asiaecon.org |

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