Vietnam says to hike imports from PHL

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VIETNAM on Wednesday announced it is open to “balancing” its trade with the country by increasing its imports of Philippine goods and services.

Vietnam National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue made the remark during his meeting with President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. in Malacañang last Wednesday.

In a statement, the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS) said Vuong “declared that Vietnam is planning to import more commodities and goods from the Philippines.”

“And I also believe that apart from rice trade, we can expand our current relations to the import and export of construction materials, particularly cement,” Vuong said.

During the 40th and 41st Association of Southeast Asian Nation (Asean) Summits in Cambodia, Marcos said he wants to address the country’s trade deficit with Vietnam.

Last year, the country registered $4.2 billion worth of imports from Vietnam, most of which are rice imports.

Meanwhile, the total exports to Vietnam was only $1.6 billion.

Marcos welcomed the pronouncement of Vuong since it will help further strengthen the bilateral relations between Philippines and Vietnam.

“So, it looks like those of us in government will have to catch up to the business community and strengthen and make the—find new ways to coordinate, to help one another, especially as we come out of this pandemic economy and with the problems that we are feeling because of the conflict in Ukraine,” Marcos said.

The contingent led by Vuong will be holding a business and investment forum on Thursday, which aims to present to Vietnamese businessmen possible investment opportunities in the country.

“I hope that will lay the groundwork for further strengthening trade and investment ties bilaterally. I suggest that we can work bilaterally and also multilaterally to address the challenges facing our region,” Vuong said.

Aside from trade and investment, Vuong said the bilateral talks between Philippines and Vietnam could also be expanded to cover defense and security, education and training, science and technology, tourism as well as people-to-people exchange.