ASTANA – Economic cooperation is at the core of the growing partnership between Kazakhstan and Vietnam, said Sergey Savelyev, senior expert at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, commenting on President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s recent visit to Vietnam.
“The main focus of the visit was the economy. As of today, the bilateral trade turnover is demonstrating steady growth, exceeding the half-billion-dollar mark last year,” Savelyev said in a comment for this story.
Kazakhstan’s exports are mainly non-ferrous metals, ferrous metal products and other goods with low added value. The Vietnamese exports consist of more technological goods – consumer electronics, equipment, integrated circuits, as well as food products, clothing and footwear.
Savelyev emphasized that the Kazakh leader “looks ahead,” anticipating existing and potential new obstacles to trade and “does not limit himself to simply stating facts.”
“To address the issues related to cargo delivery and increase the volume of container transportation in the absence of direct communication routes, specific solutions have been introduced to implement joint infrastructure projects by creating a Vietnamese commodity and logistics center on the Kazakh-Chinese border at the Druzhba station or in Khorgos, as well as to use the opportunities of the Trans-Caspian multimodal route,” said the expert.
Speaking of the 12 agreements signed during the visit, Savelyev commended the Joint Action Plan between the two governments on accelerated development of trade and economic cooperation for 2023-2025, the agreement in the field of e-commerce, memoranda on cooperation in trade and investment, which are meant to “level the existing trade imbalance and, most importantly, find new promising options.”
These agreements also open up prospects for developing cooperation in the financial and banking sectors, science, technology, investment and logistics.
“Proposals to establish a Kazakhstan-Vietnam Business Council and a joint Investment Fund can also be linked to this,” he added.
“Kazakhstan is the main trading partner in Central Asia and the Vietnamese side is interested in expanding the volume of trade supplies and the list of export products, and in the future, considers our country a favorable place for investment capital. Vietnam also highly appreciates our country’s support in voting for elected bodies of the United Nations,” said the expert.
Savelyev is sure President Tokayev’s official visit marks a new stage of cooperation between the two countries.
“For our country, Vietnam is an influential member of the international community and an active participant in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which has achieved impressive success in economic and technological development. At the same time, the Vietnamese economy is one of the fastest-growing economies in the region,” he noted.
At the political level, Vietnam supports Kazakhstan’s multilateral initiatives, including the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA). Vice President of Vietnam Võ Thị Ánh Xuân attended in person the latest sixth CICA summit in October last year.
Savelyev sees big potential in the signed agreements in tourism, forecasting an increase in tourist arrivals.
“Agreements in the field of tourism, as well as on mutual abolition of visas for holders of national passports, which will allow our citizens to stay in Vietnam for up to 30 days without a visa, will be in demand. Considering the annually increasing flow of business trips and tourists, which has reached nearly 10,000 people, this is very relevant,” he noted.