In recent years, both Turkey and Vietnam have drawn attention to their performance in economic development. Vietnam is becoming one of the largest economies not only of ASEAN, but also of the entire Asia-Pacific region. On the other hand, Turkey has been a member of the EU Customs Union since 1996 and has become one of the most dynamic economies in the Black Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean. In recent years, attempts have also been made to promote relations between these two emerging global economies, Turkey and Vietnam. For example, a seminar entitled “Vietnam and Turkey in the New Development Context”, co-organized by the Institute for Africa and Near East Studies (IAMES) of the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS), the Strategic Research Centre (SAM) of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Turkish Embassy in Hanoi, held on 5 April at VASS headquarters in Hanoi. , 2013. This seminar is also of particular importance as it is the first international meeting on Turkish-Vietnamese relations. The seminar illustrated existing bilateral relations in all their dimensions and also examined possible areas of cooperation and existing problems and methods to resolve them. The conference also looked at the current foreign policy policies and economic policies of Turkey and Vietnam. However, until the signing of the bilateral trade agreement in 1997, relations were very weak. As a result, embassies in both countries are relatively young, the Turkish Embassy in Hanoi was established in 1997 and the VietnamEse Embassy in Ankara in 2003. Over the past 15 years, exchanges of high-level reciprocal visits have been very busy.
This exchange began in 1997 with Vietnam`s Minister of Trade, Le Van Triet, and the last complement to this exchange took place when Deputy Prime Minister Benent Aréné coordinated several meetings in Vietnam in 2011. From this perspective, it could be said that a new era took place in Turkish-Vietnamese relations after 1997. However, it is a gap in the relationship that there have been no visits to the Prime Minister and the President of the two countries. This political image also finds its parallel in economic relations. For example, bilateral trade between the two countries has been virtually non-existent since 1990. While the volume of bilateral trade was $29 million in 2000, this figure increased significantly in 2012 to reach $1.3 billion. At the same time, the current account deficit, which generally characterizes Turkey`s trade with East Asian countries, is also evident in its trade with Vietnam. While Turkish exports to Vietnam were up to $90 million in 2012, it imported about $1.2 billion, representing a large deficit in the account. Moreover, both the current level of cooperation and the volume of bilateral trade do not reflect the potential of both Turkey and Vietnam. Areas of Economic Cooperation First, there is a consensus between Ankara and Hanoi on the need to prioritize economic cooperation in order to increase the volume of trade. However, it is also important to develop relationships in a balanced way.
Otherwise, Turkey, which has a significant deficit in relative terms, will not be inclined to increase its trade with Vietnam. In this context, it is also increasingly important for both countries to sign a free trade agreement. Vietnam must negotiate a free trade agreement with Turkey, regardless of the free trade agreement it intends to cooperate with the EU.