According to official trade figures by the Vietnam government, trade between the UAE and Vietnam grew by more than 150 per cent during 2012 over the previous year. Similarly, trade with Saudi Arabia has more than doubled over the same period. The figures for the entire Middle East show that trade was up by 30 per cent to $4.86 billion, with the UAE forming the bulk of that figure, at $1.48 billion.
Vietnam’s main exports to the UAE were computer, electronics and accessories, machinery, equipment, spare parts and accessories, seafood, rice, tea, coffee, pepper, garments and textiles. In turn, liquefied petroleum gas, fertiliser, plastic materials and oil related products, automobiles and automobile spare parts are the leading goods imported from the UAE.
In recent years, there has been a growing number of agreements in many areas between the two countries, which caused trade and economic relations to vastly improve. Over the past five years alone, two-way trade has increased seven-fold. There has also been a significant increase in the UAE’s direct and indirect investment into Vietnam. Emirates is flying directly to Ho Chi Minh City since June 4, 2012, and Etihad has announced that they will be flying to Vietnam next in 2013.