Suggestions Made by Ambassadors to Strengthen Vietnam’s Bond with Arab Nations

Saudi Arabia and Arab countries consider Vietnam as a bright spot in terms of economic growth, trusted and respected by many countries, and want to cooperate more closely in the coming time.

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Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Vietnam Mohammed Ismaeil A. Dahlwy (Photo courtesy of Saudi Arabian Embassy in Vietnam
Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Vietnam Mohammed Ismaeil A. Dahlwy. Photo courtesy of Saudi Arabian Embassy in Vietnam


Based on the longstanding relationship, it is now the opportune moment to elevate Vietnam’s relations with Arab countries to a higher level in a more substantial and extensive manner, stated Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Vietnam Mohammed Ismaeil A. Dahlwy on March 13, according to VNA.


Speaking at a meeting in Hanoi between ambassadors of Arab countries to Vietnam and former Vietnamese ambassadors to Arab countries, Mohammed Ismaeil A. Dahlwy emphasized that this event offered a good opportunity for exchanging experiences and discussing measures to enhance relations between Vietnam and the bloc.

Ambassadors of Arab countries to Vietnam and former Vietnamese ambassadors to Arab countries (Photo courtesy of Saudi Arabian Embassy in Vietnam
Ambassadors of Arab countries to Vietnam and former Vietnamese ambassadors to Arab countries. Photo courtesy of Saudi Arabian Embassy in Vietnam


Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries consider Vietnam as a promising market for economic growth, and anticipate closer cooperation in the future, affirmed Mohammed Ismaeil A. Dahlwy.


Ambassadors of Arab countries, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Algeria, Palestine, and Morocco, expressed their commitment to further develop relations with Vietnam.


Highlighting Vietnam as an important partner in Southeast Asia, the diplomats expressed their hope to cooperate with and receive support from Vietnamese counterparts in order to advance the relationship to new heights.


They also emphasized the potential for further promoting Vietnam’s ties with Arab countries, suggesting increased collaboration in culture, education, and people-to-people exchanges.


The diplomats proposed the opening of new direct air routes, the expansion of cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and the strengthening of cooperation in politics, economics, investment, tourism, and sports between localities.


Former Vietnamese ambassadors affirmed their willingness to collaborate with the Arab community to enhance bilateral ties.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dang Xuan Dung (first on the left) introduces Vietnamese products at Lulu Supermarket in the Middle East country. Photo: VNA
Vietnamese Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dang Xuan Dung (first on the left) introduces Vietnamese products at Lulu Supermarket in the Middle East country in 2022. Photo: VNA


With a population of 400 million, the Middle East is emerging as a promising market for Vietnamese exporters, according to experts.


Thanks to rising oil prices, the Middle East is experiencing significant growth. Out of the 16 regional countries, Vietnam has primarily traded with six member nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman.


Trade between Vietnam and the GCC countries has increased from USD 2.7 billion in 2012 to USD 12.5 billion in 2021.


Vietnam has signed economic, trade, and scientific-technological cooperation agreements with five GCC countries, trade deals with two nations, double-tax avoidance agreements with five countries, and investment protection deals with four countries. Vietnamese products are well-suited to the demands of the GCC countries.


Nguyen Tuan, Deputy Director of the Investment and Trade Promotion Centre of Ho Chi Minh City (ITPC), stated that Middle East countries have a high demand for wooden furniture, plastics, grains, garments, footwear, rubber products, meat, milk, and vegetables – all of which are strong products of Vietnam.


Each year, the market imports approximately 80% of its food and foodstuff consumption needs, amounting to about USD 40 billion. This figure is projected to reach about USD 70 billion per year by 2035. Additionally, the import tax rate in the market is relatively low at 0-5%.


HCM City has experienced strong growth in export revenue generated from the Middle East market. In 2021, the city earned USD 230 million from exporting goods to the UAE, and USD 130 million from Iraq.


According to Vietrade, the Middle East and Africa are very promising markets where demand for imported spices is fairly high and quality standards are not as strict. Moreover, the region plays a significant role as an entrepot for goods to reach Asia, Europe, and Africa.


Vietnam also dominates the Middle Eastern countries in exporting farm produce and fruits such as dragon fruit, watermelon, and lemons.

Hannah Nguyen