Direct flight connection between Prague and Vietnam Hanoi. This is one of the memoranda concluded at the Czech-Vietnamese Business and Investment Forum in Prague between companies from both countries. The agreement was signed by representatives of Prague Airport and Bamboo Airways. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš would be “very happy” if this connection started by Christmas.

Wednesday’s event was attended by over one hundred Czech and more than sixty Vietnamese companies.

The Forum was organized by the Industrial and Transportation Union of the Czech Republic (SP CR) together with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry on the occasion of the visit of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and members of the local government in the Czech Republic.

“Vietnam is a huge market. It is certainly no coincidence that US President Donald Trump has visited Vietnam twice in his term. I haven’t been there yet, but I told Prime Minister (Phuco) that once Bamboo Airways starts flying, I would love to fly there,” said Czech Prime Minister at the forum.

Babis said to Phuc once the morning individual negotiation was over that the Czech Republic could succeed in Vietnam, mainly in the mining or transport industry. He has promised the Vietnamese Prime Minister that he would personally engage in promoting the government’s intention to conclude a free trade agreement with the European Union.

In addition to the memorandum on a possible airline connection, the representatives of the People’s Committee of the Ha Tinh Province and the Czech company Danvit Express signed an agreement on cooperation for the wind power plant.

The contract was also concluded by the domestic company Hamibo and Vietnamese VTX Corporation for investment in the real estate project FUTURA Project in Karlovy Vary, as well as Global Consulting Marine and MBLand Corporation on technology transfer. The agreement on cooperation between the two institutions was also signed by the President of the Industrial and Transporation Union of the Czech Republic, Jaroslav Hanák, and the Chairman of the Vietnamese Trade and Industrial Chamber Vu Tien Loc.

“Vietnam is the second-fastest growing economy in Southeast Asia. Czech companies can find many business opportunities, for example, in the energy sector, in the development of local transportation infrastructure or in engineering. We also see great potential in the cooperation of both countries in applied research, ” said Hanák on a Wednesday.

Industry Union further states that it is currently starting to prepare a business mission to Vietnam, which will be accompanied by an official visit of the Minister of the Environment Richard Brabec (ANO). It should take place in September.

The SP CR has traveled to Vietnam with ten companies as well as with the Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade last April. In 2017, under the leadership of the Union, 60 company representatives had attended the official visit of the President of the Czech Republic.

According to the Czech Statistical Office, there are about 61 thousand Vietnamese inhabitants in the Czech Republic. They are the third-largest minority in the Czech Republic, surpassed only by Ukrainians and Slovaks. Our country has a long-term trade deficit with Vietnam. According to the Czech Statistical Office, Czech exports reached CZK 3 billion in 2018, while imports from Vietnam were CZK 22 billion. The last years’ deficit was about 19 billion crowns.