The Vietnamese and Indian leaders have agreed that economic cooperation between both countries should be pursued as a strategic objective, said an Indian expert.

Talking to a Vietnam News Agency correspondent in New Delhi , Jayadeva Ranade, President of the Centre for China Analysis and Strategy (CCAS), stated that potential for economic cooperation between Vietnam and India is still very large and has not been fully tapped.

The two countries have been cooperating extensively in the economic field and India has offered Vietnam 18 Lines of Credit to date, he said, adding that Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s recent visit to India focused mainly on economic engagement besides the other facets of strategic cooperation.

It was also noted that there has been strong growth in bilateral trade in recent years, particularly after the India-ASEAN trade in Goods Agreement.

According to the analyst, the recently-signed FTA between India and ASEAN in services is expected to create a strong momentum for India-Vietnam economic collaboration. RCEP is another multilateral agreement that will enhance economic engagement between the two nations in the future.

Priority areas for economic cooperation include hydrocarbons, power generation, infrastructure, tourism, textiles, footwear, medical and pharmaceuticals, information & communications technology (ICT), electronics, agriculture, chemicals, machinery, and support industries.

The two countries have set to raise their two-way trade to 15 billion USD in 2015 from the current 7 billion USD.-VNA