The remark was made by delegates at the Czech-Vietnamese Business Forum jointly held by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Vietnam on November 21.
Vice President of VCCI Vo Tan Thanh said that Vietnam and Czech have had a fine traditional friendship over nearly 70 years. Czech is one of the strategic trade partners and export markets of Vietnam in Europe and Vietnam is also one of the leading potential markets of the Czech Republic.
The two countries posted a bilateral trade volume of nearly US$300 million in 2018. Of which, Vietnam reported over US$156 million worth of export revenue to Czech and over US$140 million worth of import revenue from the Czech Republic.
The Czech Republic has 38 projects in Vietnam with a total investment capital of over US$90 million while Vietnam is investing in four projects in the Czech Republic.
Thanh said that the results have yet to match the potential and expectations of both sides, noting that Vietnam wishes to promote trade and investment activities with the Czech Republic to lift the bilateral trade volume to US$1 billion in the future.
The Czech Republic Minister for the Environment Richard Brabec shared the same view with Thanh that the trade and investment cooperation between the two countries does not commensurate with the potential and advantages of both countries.
He said that the Czech Republic considers Vietnam a strategic market and an important gateway to access the ASEAN region, adding that the effectiveness of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) will bring about many trade and investment opportunities for business community of both countries.
In addition, the launch of a direct flight from Hanoi to Prague in early 2020 will create favorable conditions for trade and tourism activities of the two countries, he noted.
Jaroslav Hanak, President of the Czech Confederation of Industry and Transport, said that the Czech Republic enterprises have advantages in manufacturing and processing industry, mining, oil and gas in addition to biotechnology, nanotechnology and environmental treatment that the Vietnamese Government and enterprises are paying much attention to.
The Czech Republic also has strengths in finance, insurance, and information technology services that it can cooperate and assist Vietnamese firms in this regard, he added.