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|The conference held by Port of Barcelona in Hanoi|
As part of a conference held in mid-November, the trade mission held talks with Nguyen Van Cong, Deputy Minister of Transport, on future co-operation.
The representative of the Port of Barcelona told VIR that they want to have a strategic alliance with ports in Haiphong and Ho Chi Minh City.
"Infrastructure is one of the key pillars of the Spanish economy. We have rich experience in seaport infrastructure and are willing to share with Vietnam," she added.
According to Nguyen Van Cong, Deputy Transport Minister, the Cai Mep-Thi Vai port area in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, which is near Ho Chi Minh City, is able to accommodate mainliners, directly shipping goods exported to the US and Europe without transhipment in Singapore.
"Haiphong port is now the country's second largest port with the total goods volume of 75 million tonnes and 3.6 million TEUs of containers in 2017. At present, the port only has routes to Asia and no routes to the US, Barcelona or Europe," Cong added.
"Also in Haiphong, the Lach Huyen International Gateway Port project is being developed, with the two first berths already in operation. In the future, more new berths will be built. As planned, the Lach Huyen International Gateway Port is able to accommodate 160,000 tonne vessels, meaning that Vietnamese goods can be exported directly to the EU and the US."
In addition to seeking a strategic alliance with Vietnamese ports, the Port of Barcelona's trip was aimed to boost co-operation with Vietnamese importers and exporters.
The two sides agreed to create the most favourable conditions for businesses' imports and exports.
With the upcoming enforcement of the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), trade between Vietnam and the bloc in general and with Spain in particular will be further strengthened.
"In the near future, we will organise a mission of Vietnamese importers and exporters to Barcelona to promote the co-operation with firms in Barcelona. We expect that Port of Barcelona will be a transhipment port for Vietnamese goods, especially coffee, to other countries in Europe," said Cong.
At present, coffee, seafood, textile and garment, and woodwork are Vietnam’s key export items.
The Spanish Ambassador to Vietnam expressed hope that the visit is expected to open more business, thus strengthening trade co-operation between the two countries.