Background

Vietnam and Europe - prospects for trade cooperation. The second IBEC business forum was held in Hanoi

In Hanoi, the capital of the Republic of Vietnam, the business forum “Enhancing Trade Cooperation of Vietnam with CEE and Eurasia” was held by the International Bank for Economic Co-operation co-organized by the State Bank of Vietnam. The event held on the sidelines of the Bank’s Council meeting, which will also be held in Vietnam, was attended by more than 200 participants, including representatives of the largest Vietnamese financial institutions and companies, heads of the relevant state institutions and IFIs, representatives of foreign and international corporations accredited in Vietnam, experts, and media representatives. This is the second business forum under the auspices of IBEC - the debut one took place at the end of May in Moscow .

In his introduction speech, Chairman of the IBEC Board, Denis Ivanov, presented the current status of the bank as an interregional multilateral development institution. The bank's geography includes the states of Central and Eastern Europe, Russia as a key Eurasian economy and the basis of the Eurasian Economic Union, and Mongolia and Vietnam, as dynamically developing Asian economies. In this context and amid actively developing economic relations, IBEC claims to be a financial bridge between these regions. Having a number of advantages inherent to development institutions, such as supranational status and immunity, tax preferences in the participating countries, access to countries resources and competencies, a compact shareholder structure and prompt decision-making process, IBEC has ample opportunities to provide an extended range of modern financial products and services for territories of all of its member states compared to common MDBs. In a separate speech, Ms. Alexandra Matveeva, Director of the Client Relations Department, spoke about the bank’s products and capabilities in supporting foreign trade operations. Mr. Ivanov noted that IBEC, along with other interregional development banks, is ready to act as a transparent and comfortable trading platform for a post-bipolar global economy, the purpose of which is not to maximize profit , but rather to develop the economic development of partner states and third countries.

The main topic of the forum was the economic and trade relations of Vietnam with the European and Eurasian regions. The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union, over the several years of its validity, gave a powerful impetus to the development of investment and trade activity. The Free Trade Agreement between Vietnam and the European Union signed this summer and waiting for ratification promises a revolutionary rise of economic activity between Vietnam and the EU member states, including five IBEC member states. The mechanisms and prospects for the implementation of these agreements were described in detail and interestingly by Ms. Nguyen Khanh Ngoc, Deputy Director General of the Department of the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Vietnam, and Mr. Nguyen Manh Hung, Head of the International Cooperation Division of Vietrade.

Being a recognized economic leader in the ASEAN region (suffice to say that this is the second regional trading partner for the European Union, after Singapore, and the largest exporter of goods), Vietnam is becoming a kind of “entry point” for European partners to the markets of Southeast Asia.

The discussion of the prospects for the introduction of blockchain technologies in the organization of settlements and the provision of financial guarantees for trade contracts aroused great interest. HSBC Country Manager Mr. Anand Nevgi outlined the latest trends in this area and their projection on Vietnamese realities. Executive Deputy Chairman of the IBEC Board, Vladimir Liventsev, shared the bank’s plans in this business area regarding the development of the blockchain platform for trade finance in cooperation with partner company Rebit FZC LLC. In the medium term, this may become one of the bank’s competitive advantages.

Investment projects implemented with the participation of IBEC were also presented at the forum. Mr. Vasily Shikin from the Hevel Group shared his experience in developing projects using solar energy in industry, including in Vietnam, and Mr. Mikhail Matveev from Metpromstroy spoke about the bank’s support for contracts aimed at modernization of the industrial enterprises and about the company's business prospects in the Asian region.

At the end of the forum, the official signing ceremonies were held. A tripartite agreement between Vietinbank, Hateko, and IBEC addresses financing for the construction of the Hateco Logistics Center in Sai Dong. Under the memorandum of understanding between IBEC and Agribank signed by Ms. Nguyen Thi Phuong, Deputy General Director of the Vietnamese Bank and Chairman of the IBEC Board Denis Ivanov. Agribank is one of the largest financial institutions in Vietnam, 100% owned by the state, and plays the key role in the country's agricultural sector. The agreement between partner banks is aimed at establishing new promising areas of cooperation and at the practical implementation of joint projects.

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