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Palestine - Viet Nam: Working together to overcome obstacles

Monday, 17 February 2014 10:26

The slow development of relations of trade and economic cooperation between Palestine and Viet Nam in the past did not reflect the existing potentials in both countries. The consolidation and deepening bilateral trade and economic ties require us to pay more attention to the basic content. The first is the field of investment. Because there is an urgent need of Vietnamese enterprises to invest in projects of development and capacity building in Palestine as well as Palestinian enterprises to invest in the areas of constructive building and telecommunications in Viet Nam...

The second is the practical commercial operations. Palestine is considered an attractive market for industrial and agricultural products of Viet Nam and the Vietnamese market also appeals various Palestine’s quality products. The third is tourism and cultural relations which have seen modest development progress despite playing a significant role.

There are many positive factors that have created impetus to strengthen bilateral relations. Traditional friendship relations between the two countries are a solid foundation, creating conducive conditions to promote trade, investment and economic cooperation not only between Palestine and Viet Nam but also between Viet Nam and the Arab world. Palestine has an important position in the region and there are numerous Palestinian businesses and investors working outside their homeland.

We have great benefits in bilateral cooperation in various fields, including the processing industry, agriculture, construction, telecommunications and consumer goods production. The two governments have also encouraged investment in various sectors which have high economic efficiency such as agriculture, aquaculture, industry, tourism, construction, public services, telecommunications, software engineering, and transportation... The two sides can also cooperate in the area of ??capacity building for the Palestinian state agencies, namely learning experience of Viet Nam in the field of security with the goal of strengthening peace and security to the Palestinian people.

Earnest desire of the two countries on developing bilateral relations is facing a number of obstacles. In which, the most major obstacle is the current political situation in Palestine such as foreign countries’ continued occupation for the Palestinian territories and the stagnation of the peace process in the Middle East. Other hindrances are the geographically far apart, no access between the two cultures, the shortage of manpower and the lack of information exchange between the two sides.

Prior to that fact, it is clear that the two parties should make more proactive efforts to help boost the bilateral ties. The most essential thing is to continue to strengthen partnerships at all levels in order to promote economic relations and trade to a new level. The opening of a Vietnamese diplomatic mission in Palestine will considerably contribute to intensifying bilateral relations. Besides maintaining frequent exchanges of visits by leaders at all levels, the two sides should soon establish the joint intergovernmental committee between the two countries.

Promoting human resources development and staff training through sending students to participate in Arabic training courses at Palestine’s universities and to learn the new culture should be focused. The two sides could expand tourism and cultural exchanges through the organization of trade fairs, seminars, establishment of bilateral business councils and practical development of relations between the Federation of Palestine Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the counterpart agency of Viet Nam. Both countries also send delegations to attend seminars and forums in each country and region as well as to create procedures to facilitate entry and exit visas for business groups with the purpose of visiting and seeking business and investment opportunities.


"In the minds of the Vietnamese people, Middle East - North Africa is known as the land of the mysterious tales of One Thousand and One Nights, interesting adventures of Alibaba or conflict, and violence. However, this region has great cultural, economic, commercial and financial potentials and an increasing strategic importance in global building and development efforts.

Thus, the organization of the Forum for Economic Cooperation between Viet Nam and Middle East and North Africa Partners will play a crucial role in supporting the search capabilities as well as decisions to develop the relations between Viet Nam and countries of this region on all dimensions, in which the core fields are culture, economy, trade and investment.

That would be a positive contribution to the process of integration and cooperation which is being strongly boosted in Viet Nam. The Forum will help shape a new Silk Road linking the Southeast Asia to the potential region of Middle East - North Africa for common development goals and benefits"

Saadi Salama

Ambassador of the State of Palestine to Vietnam