The expected free trade agreement next year between Việt Nam and the EU will go a long way toward fully tapping the trade potential that exists with Poland, experts said during a conference held in HCM City in early December.
Cao Thị Phi Vân, deputy director of the Investment and Trade Promotion Centre, said that Việt Nam and Poland had a long business history but the latter had not invested much in Việt Nam.
Poland is the sixth largest country in the EU, with a GDP per capita of around US$13,800 in 2017.
With a large, skilled labour force, the country ranked 24th on the World Bank Group’s Doing Business list last year, according to Piotr Harasimowicz, chief representative officer of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency in HCM City (PAIH).
According to Krzysztof Hajlasz, business development manager of PAIH, Việt Nam mainly exports electronics and equipment, footwear, textiles and agricultural goods such as coffee, pepper, coconut and cashew to Poland.
Meanwhile, Poland mainly exports animal products, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics to Việt Nam.
According to Hajlasz, Poland imports a great deal of rice, fruit and oil products from other European countries but very little from Việt Nam, which is highly capable of supplying these products.
For instance, many of the rice products that Poland imports every year from European countries are also imported from Việt Nam to such countries, then packaged in smaller bags and sold to Poland.
Việt Nam also imports a great deal of meat, wood and hard liquor from many countries, but very little from Poland directly, despite their high quality.
The lack of a free trade agreement has limited direct trading, but the EU-Việt Nam FTA is expected to change the situation next year.
“In addition, Vietnamese and Polish companies do not understand each other well,” Hajlasz said. As such, PAIH wants to help both sides learn more about one another and facilitate direct trade, removing intermediaries.
Việt Nam and Poland’s bilateral trade totalled around $1.05 billion last year.
The conference was held by the Investment and Trade Promotion Centre of HCM City and PAIH.
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