Taiwan-Vietnam ties stable: envoy
December 8, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
TAIPEI--Taiwan's representative to Vietnam said yesterday that bilateral relations between Taipei and Hanoi remain stable and are expected to continue to improve.
Huang Chih-peng said in an interview with the CNA that in particular, he has great expectations that Taiwan and Vietnam will increase economic exchanges and strengthen two-way trade in the future.
In addition to the warming bilateral business ties, Huang said both sides will work together over the next year to fight crime, while the two countries will focus on negotiations on crime crackdown measures, in particular the possibility of signing a criminal extradition agreement.
Huang said Vietnam is boosting its international visibility after establishing strong partnerships with many developed and developing countries, such as the United States, Japan, Russia and India.
As its allies have provided massive assistance economically and politically, Vietnam is growing so quickly that other countries cannot afford to ignore it, Huang said.
According to Huang, as overseas Vietnamese pump about US$10 billion into their homeland as investments every year, the Southeast Asian country's wealth and consumption power are increasing.
In the first 10 months of this year, Taiwan invested US$332 million in Vietnam, accounting for about 2.54 percent of the country's total foreign investments worth US$13.08 billion, which made Taiwan the 7th largest foreign investor in Vietnam.
In the 10-month period, Vietnam had 595 new foreign investment projects, and Taiwan contributed 57 of those projects, making up almost 10 percent of the total.
Between January 1998 and October 2013, Taiwan poured US$27.78 billion worth of investments into Vietnam, accounting for 12.21 percent of Hanoi's total foreign investments. That made Taipei the fourth largest foreign investor of Hanoi after Tokyo, whose investments totaled US$33.67 billion, Singapore with investments amounting to US$28.88 billion, and Seoul which invested US$28.71 billion.
With economic exchanges between Taipei and Hanoi on the rise, Huang said both countries will raise efforts to protect Taiwanese investors in a bid to make Taiwanese businesses feel safe and become willing to relocate their funds to the Southeast Asian country.
Despite the stronger bilateral business ties, Nguyen Sy Hong, secretary general of the Taiwan work committee of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Vietnam, said his country is not planning to hold talks with Taiwan to sign a free trade agreement any time soon.