Official visit from Poland spurs co-operation efforts

Polish President Andrzej Duda underscored the immense potential for further co-operation between Vietnam and Poland in trade and investment during his state visit to Vietnam.

A visit from the Polish president saw the signing of many deals between firms involved in a wide array of sectors

Speaking at last week’s Vietnam-Poland Economic Forum on November 30, President Duda said that Vietnam is Poland’s greatest ally in the region, adding that there are no other countries or groups of people in this region that are as close to Poland as Vietnam.

He described Vietnam as an ‘Asian tiger’, with an annual GDP growth rate of more than 6 per cent. The Polish government considers Vietnam to be one of the five most promising investment and export markets for Poland worldwide.

“Vietnam could be Poland’s gateway to Asia, and Poland should be the gateway to Europe for Vietnam,” President Duda said, adding that Poland has implemented a special government programme from 2017-2019 to facilitate Polish micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises in their pursuit to do business with Vietnam.

The Vietnam-Poland Economic Forum saw the participation of 100 Vietnamese companies and 60 Polish companies seeking potential partnerships. Polish companies operate in several key areas in which Vietnam is interested, including pharmaceuticals, healthcare, banking, managerial consulting, IT, food and fruit processing, printing, and packaging.

At the forum, Hydro Vacuum inked an agreement with Vietnam Water Supply and Sewerage Association to step up its operations in Vietnam. Hydro Vacuum is the most notable Polish manufacturer of pumps and pumping systems.

In addition, the Polish Investment and Trade Agency also signed an agreement with the Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The two institutions will work closely to facilitate businesses from the two countries.

Meanwhile, Adamed Group would spend $50 million acquiring a controlling stake in Davipharm Co., Ltd., Vietnam’s fastest-growing pharmaceutical firm, marking the largest direct Polish investment in Vietnam to date.

The purchase agreement was officially signed by Adamed general director Małgorzata Adamkiewicz and founder of Davipharm Pham Tai Truong on November 28 in Hanoi, in the presence of each country’s respective president.

According to President Duda, these agreements are expected to trigger a new wave of investment from Poland to Vietnam. On November 30, he also joined the inaugural ceremony of the representative office of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency in Ho Chi Minh City. The Foreign Trade Office will facilitate trade, business, and investment co-operation between businesses from the two countries.

Poland also provides official development assistance to Vietnam. The latest framework credit agreement, worth €250 million ($296.5 million), was signed during the visit.

For Poland, Vietnam is its most important economic partner and biggest trade partner in ASEAN. After the ASEAN Economic Community entered into force, Vietnam became a primary gate through which international firms can access the ASEAN market. It is also one of the most important markets for all non-European countries, with a total bilateral trade turnover of nearly $2 billion in 2016 and $1.58 billion in the first nine months of 2017.

The strong position of Vietnam in Polish trade development strategy was confirmed when the Polish government placed Vietnam on its list of the top five markets in the world with the most potential for trade. The main sectors where co-operation is most dynamic are agro-food and pharmaceuticals. Agro-food accounts for nearly 65 per cent of Poland’s overall exports to Vietnam, while Polish pharmaceuticals have significant export value within Vietnam as well.

There is also a lot of potential in other sectors, such as cosmetics and diet supplements; green technologies like clean energy, eco-transport and wastewater treatment; software and IT systems; and heavy industries like mining, shipbuilding, machinery, and equipment for agricultural production and food processing.

By Thanh Van