On 17 July 2019 the Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs together with Doan Duy Khoung, the Vice President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, opened the Latvia-Vietnam Business Forum. Addressing representatives of the Vietnamese business community, the Minister emphasized Latvia's interest in establishing and developing economic contacts, and noted that the Southeast Asian market as a whole was becoming increasingly attractive to Latvian entrepreneurs. "The government must work to create a favourable business environment, while entrepreneurs can come up with effective solutions to today's and future challenges," the minister said.
Edgars Rinkēvičs expressed the conviction that the sectors represented by the Latvian business delegation represent promising areas of cooperation with high growth potential: information and communication technologies, engineering solutions, pharmaceutics and chemical industry, woodworking, as well as education. Although we are currently prioritizing exports of goods and services as key areas of economic cooperation, Latvia is also interested in cooperation with Vietnam in the area of investment. The Minister expressed the hope that the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and the Investment Protection Agreement signed with Vietnam on 30 June would be ratified in 2019, which would provide an impetus for closer economic cooperation.
At the European Union level connectivity is an important priority for cooperation with Asia: both physical, digital and people-to-people. Therefore, Latvia sees a need to develop cooperation with Vietnam in the areas of tourism, transport and logistics as well as education, science and culture.
Edgars Rinkēvičs also met with the leadership of several Vietnamese sector ministries to discuss topical issues for Latvian entrepreneurs. In a conversation with the Minister of Construction Pham Hong Ha and representatives of the construction sector Edgars Rinkēvičs informed about the innovative solutions offered by Latvian companies in the construction sector. During his visit the Minister participated in the official opening of the JSC “Wasserkabel Baltic” test room, located in one of the laboratories of the Hanoi College of High Technology, which offers energy efficient heating and cooling solutions.
During his meeting with the Minister of Industry and Trade, Tran Tuan Anh, Edgars Rinkēvičs expressed his wish to strengthen cooperation in the woodworking, pharmaceutics, chemical, and engineering sectors. There is an increasing potential for cooperation in the service sector - information and communication technologies and education.
During the meeting with the Vietnamese Minister of Public Security, General To Lam, Latvia's interest in developing cooperation in combating illegal migration was emphasized. Edgars Rinkēvičs expressed the hope that in the near future an agreement could be reached between the Latvian and Vietnamese authorities in this area. The Minister outlined the IT solutions developed by Latvian entrepreneurs in the field of citizen identification, as well as the potential for cooperation in the development of mobile payment solutions.
During this visit the Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs is accompanied by the representatives of JSC “Grindeks”, JSC “Wasserkabel Baltic”, JSC “X Infotech”, JSC “HORTUS Digital”, JSC “Vārpas 1”, JSC “Impexwood” and JSC “Nordichem Europe”, as well as of Riga Technical University and the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia.
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