Iran, Vietnam Pledge $2 Billion Trade Boost
Vietnamís prime minister, for his part, emphasized that his country
is determined to increase the level of trade with Iran to above $2
Iranís President Hassan Rouhani launched a three-nation tour of Southeast
Asia in early October, which took him to Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand.
The Iranian chief executive left Tehran (Oct. 5) for the Vietnamese capital
of Hanoi on the first leg of his trip.
In the visit, Rouhani was accompanied by his Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad
Zarif, several cabinet ministers and senior government officials.
Before departure, Rouhani briefed reporters about his agenda of talks in the
three countries. He described Asia as a highly important continent, adding,
ďThe 21st century belongs to Asia.Ē
The ultimate goal of the trip was attending a summit of the
inter-governmental organization of Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), which
gathered 34 Asian nations, in the Thai capital of Bangkok, Rouhani noted.
ďThe organizationís goals comprise increasing convergence and cooperation
among Asian countries and improving Asiaís role in international
interactions,Ē Rouhani said.
He also hailed Vietnam as a country which has contributed to the economic
development in the region, and one that enjoys good and close relations with
Rouhani noted that the visit to Vietnam is meant to enhance bilateral
Tehran-Hanoi ties, especially in the area of exporting Iranís technical and
The Iranian President further said Malaysia, his second destination, has had
traditionally favorable relations with Iran, adding that his talks there are
aimed at repairing the ties which have unfortunately suffered a decline in
The Bangkok stop, the last leg of the tour, will also feature bilateral
meetings with Thai officials, Rouhani said.
Rouhani expressed hope that the 9th Iran-Vietnam Joint Commission
session, which is expected to be held soon, will pave the way for
creating more dynamism in Tehran-Hanoi relations.
Trade in Focus as Rouhani Launches Asia Visit
Rouhani was accorded a detailed official welcome in Hanoi by his Vietnamese
counterpart Tran Dai Quang.
Addressing a joint press conference with his Vietnamese counterpart in Hanoi
(Oct. 6), Rouhani said the two agreed that despite many opportunities for
economic, trade and investment affiliation between their countries, the
scale of cooperation and trade exchange has remained modest. They therefore
set a target of boosting bilateral trade to over US$2 billion and creating
optimal conditions for their companies to cooperate in such areas as energy,
information and communications, agriculture, fisheries, science-technology
Rouhani said huge grounds exist for economic and trade cooperation between
Tehran and Hanoi as he invited Vietnamese companies to invest in Iranís
Rouhani further voiced the Islamic Republicís preparedness to export oil,
petrochemical products as well as technical and engineering services to
Iran and Vietnam, he said, have close views on major international issues,
adding that the two countries seek peace and stability in East Asia as well
as the Middle East.
The two presidents also said Tehran and Hanoi are against violence and
extremism and believe that all crises must be resolved through dialog.
Iran opened an embassy in Hanoi in 1991 and Vietnam opened its embassy in
Tehran in 1997. They established relations in 1973 and since then the two
countries have increased political and economic cooperation through exchange
of visits by senior officials from both sides.
Trade exchanges between Iran and Vietnam reached $300 million in 2013 from
$80 million in 2010. Those transactions currently stand at $350 million,
meaning the two countries have an arduous task to hit the $2 billion mark.
Rouhani Vows Better Conditions for Vietnamese Oil, Gas Firms
President Trần told reporters that he and his Iranian counterpart had
reached agreement on tightening political links between their two countries
and expanding their collaboration in economic, cultural and
He said the two sides had agreed to support each other in pursuing
development for their peopleís prosperity, and for peace and stability in
the region and the world. He praised the UN General Assemblyís resolution on
a world against violence and extremism, initiated by Rouhani.
The two sides also discussed the security situation in the region and
reiterated their pledge to contribute to peace and resolve conflicts on the
basis of internationally-recognized universal principles.
Rouhani, for his part, told reporters that Iran is ready to create better
conditions for Vietnamese oil and gas firms to expand their presence in his
country by implementing existing contracts and seeking new business
opportunities. He also underlined Iranís willingness to work with Vietnamís
high-tech industry and to cooperate in the areas of construction materials,
transport infrastructure and thermoelectricity, as well as in agricultural
Vietnam and Iran will also expand cooperation in culture, education, tourism
and people-to-people exchanges, President Trần said, adding that Vietnam
will facilitate the access of Iranian goods to the Vietnamese market. He
applauded Rouhaniís support for the import of Vietnamese goods into Iran in
order to balance bilateral trade.
The two presidents also witnessed the signing of two cooperation documents,
one on visa exemption for official passport holders and another an MoU on
cooperation in information and communications.
The Iranian President invited his Vietnamese counterpart to visit Iran.
ĎIran Ready to Export Steel, Oil to Vietnamí
President Rouhani told Vietnamís Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc that both
countries have yet to benefit from considerable opportunities that exist for
them to boost their relations.
He said Iran is ready to expand trade ties with Vietnam and specifically
supply the country with steel and crude oil.
Rouhani emphasized that the expansion of relations with Southeast Asian
countries, especially Vietnam, has always been a top priority for Iran.
He said Vietnam can become a base for Iranís trade activities in the region.
To the same effect, the Iranian President added, Vietnam can access a market
of 400 million people through Iran.
Rouhani said the removal of sanctions against Iran has already prepared the
grounds for the two countries to enhance their economic ties. He added that
Tehran and Hanoi need to strengthen their banking relations first in order
to facilitate any step toward the expansion of commercial relations.
Vietnamís prime minister, for his part, emphasized that his country is
determined to increase the level of trade with Iran to above $2 billion. He
added that Hanoi wants to expand relations with Iran in all areas and that
it is prepared to move toward the establishment of a mutual free trade
mechanism between the two countries.
In March, Vietnamís then president Truong Tan Sang visited Iran to discuss
the expansion of mutual ties.
Rouhani had told his former Vietnamese peer Sang when he was in Tehran that
the Islamic Republic was ready to increase trade with Vietnam from the
current level of $350 million to above $2 billion within the next five
New Era in Tehran-Hanoi Relations
Rouhani praised his talks with senior Vietnamese officials as successful,
saying his visit to Southeast Asian state opens a ďnew chapterĒ in
Rouhani made the remarks at a meeting with Nguyen Phu Trong, the secretary
general of the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam, in Hanoi (Oct. 6).
The Iranian chief executive said that grounds are prepared for the expansion
of ties between the two countries, especially after last yearís nuclear deal
between Tehran and the six world powers.
ďPrivate sectors of Iran and Vietnam are interested in broadening relations
and in doing so, the reinforcement of cooperation, especially in the areas
of energy, new technologies, banking, agriculture and fishery will be of
special importance,Ē Rouhani said.
He underlined the need for expanding banking ties at the same pace with
bilateral political and economic relations.
Rouhani also expressed hope that the 9th Iran-Vietnam Joint
Commission session, which is expected to be held soon, will pave the way for
creating more dynamism in Tehran-Hanoi relations.
He further voiced Tehranís readiness for enhanced relations in scientific
and cultural areas among universities and research centers.
The Vietnamese official, for his part, referred to long-standing and good
relations with Iran and the capacities for bolstering relations.
He also congratulated Iran on its achievements, especially in the nuclear
talks, saying that Hanoi attaches special importance to enhanced ties with
Relations should also be developed in educational, scientific and
agricultural fields, Trong added.
Economic ties between the two countries are not as deep as the friendship
between the two nations and efforts should be made to forge closer ties, he
Rouhani, Phuc Talk Trade: Rice & Cashews, Carpets & Ores
Prime Minister Phúc congratulated the Iranian President on the removal of
the international sanctions and the nuclear deal secured with world powers,
saying the developments opened up great cooperation opportunities for
Vietnam and Iran. He expressed his hope that President Rouhaniís visit would
open up a new chapter in the two countriesí relations.
Specifically, the PM suggested the sides to focus on facilitating trade
activities, particularly the export of tea, seafood, rice, cashew, coffee,
peppercorns, apparel and rubber from Vietnam - as well as the shipments of
plastic materials, metal, chemicals, ores, machinery, dried fruit and
carpets from Iran.
He proposed elevating rice trade to the State level to stabilize the market
in the long term, adding that he supports a joint project between Iran and
the Mekong Delta city of Cần Thơ on the cultivation of Iranian long-grain
rice in Vietnam for export to Iran.
The PM urged stronger cooperation in information and telecommunications,
asking the Iranian government to facilitate the operation of Vietnamese
telecom companies in Iran.
He also requested further support from the Iranian side for PetroVietnam in
resuming oil exploration at Danan oil block in Iran, according to Vietnam
PM Phúc noted that Vietnamís participation in a range of free trade
agreements would provide opportunities for foreign investors and businesses,
including those from Iran.
For his part, Rouhani said Iran wants to work together with Vietnam in
realizing agreements secured by the two countriesí inter-governmental
committee, particularly in the fields of energy, oil and gas, IT and
He agreed with his host about the need to facilitate ties between Vietnamese
and Iranian businesses, adding that Tehran was willing to supply Hanoi with
construction materials and joint cooperation projects in building
thermo-power plants, water supply systems, and roads and bridges.
He thanked Vietnam for supporting his country in becoming a member of the
Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia.
Rouhani said he hoped the two countries would accelerate negotiations to
sign a bilateral free trade pact and suggested the establishment of a
maritime route between the two countries.
He described PetroVietnamís oil exploration project in the Danan oil block
as a symbol of bilateral cooperation, adding that the two sides should work
together to resume the project.
Rouhani also promised more scholarships for Vietnamese students.