Vietnamese and Indian businesses talk over garment production. (Photo: VNA)

The thriving Vietnam-India commercial partnership was the highlight of a forum held in Ho Chi Minh City on September 16.

According to Vo Tan Thanh, Vice Director of the Ho Chi Minh City branch of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, India, with its population of 1.2 billion people, is among the top ten trade partners of Vietnam, while Vietnam is ranked 28th for the India.

The two countries’ trade deficit has seen a recent downward trend, Thanh noted.

President of India’s Merchant Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) Arun Kumar said underscoring the important role of ASEAN, his Government has initiated the “Act East” policy.

Janal Sheth, Vice President of the Federation of Gujarat Industries (FGI) who is leading a delegation of 30 local firms on an ongoing visit to Ho Chi Minh City, considered Vietnam an attractive investment destination in the region.

He shared that his delegation’s visit aims to better understand the market, seek partnerships and promote the Indian business climate, saying agriculture, food processing, biotechnology and mining hold great cooperation opportunities.

Tat Thanh Cang, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, lauded the trade promotion programmes carried out by the two governments as having benefited business communities.

He stated that authorities in the southern hub always welcome and support Indian companies to enter the city.

Vietnam and India generated more than 5.6 billion USD from bilateral trade last year, a significant increase from 1 billion USD in 2006. In the first seven months of 2015, the figure reached over 3 billion USD, paving the way for a target of 15 billion USD by 2020.

Vietnam's key exports to India include mobile phones, rubber, cashews, porcelain, iron and steel and wooden products, while it imports mainly cars, drugs, garment and textile feedstock, chemicals, machinery, building materials and others.

In the past eight months, Ho Chi Minh City alone shipped goods worth about 184.7 million USD to India, an annual climb of 3.31 percent. During the period, it imported Indian commodities valued at around 356.9 million USD, up 9.06 percent year on year.-VNA