The Commercial Counsellor Conference 2011 will open in Hanoi on December 12, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Thanh Bien revealed at a press conference on Dec. 7.

The two-week event will involve representatives from ministries, Vietnamese ambassadors, commercial associations, enterprises and trade counsellors , among others.

A series of seminars within this year’s conference will be held in Hanoi and HCM City , the key seminar of which was slated for December 12 and the following morning, which will be presided over by Minister Vu Huy Hoang.

“The conference plays an important role in supporting firms to expand their overseas markets while narrowing the excess of imports over exports,” Bien said.

Also, international cooperation in the fields of industry, energy and agriculture would be boosted, he added.

Vietnam forecasts an export turn-over of 96 billion USD this year, an increase of nearly 33 percent on last year.

To date, Vietnam has established economic and trade relations with over 200 countries and territories world-wide and has become one of the leading exporters of products such as rice, coffee, seafood and textiles.

The previous Commercial Counsellor Conference was held in 2008./.