|NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue (C) and MERCOSUR Parliament leaders, Uruguay, April 27, 2023. (Photo: VNA)
During talks in Uruguay with Gustavo Penadés, President of the MERCOSUR Parliament, and his deputies, Chairman Hue said Vietnam attaches great importance to relations with MERCOSUR in general and each member country of the bloc in particular.
However, cooperation has not been commensurate with the existing potential, especially in trade and investment, largely because of the absence of an FTA, he said.
The hosts said that the MERCOSUR Parliament wishes to strengthen cooperation with the National Assembly of Vietnam because of the Southeast Asian nation’s important strategic role in the region and the world.
They said they hope that Vietnam can serve as a gateway for MERCOSUR to enter ASEAN, and affirmed that they back the early start of negotiations for the Vietnam-MERCOSUR FTA.
MERCOSUR is Vietnam's 13th largest trade partner with two-way trade hitting 12 billion USD in 2022. Trade flows between MERCOSUR and Vietnam account for nearly a quarter of the total trade flows between MERCOSUR and ASEAN.