Vietnamese Trade Counsellor in India Nguyen Son Ha has stated that bilateral economic and trade ties, which have come a long way in the recent past, are one of the “pillars” in the Vietnam-India strategic partnership.

Elaborating on this pillar in an interview granted to a Vietnam News Agency correspondent in New Delhi on November 13, Ha noted that India is one of Vietnam’s ten biggest trade partners, while Vietnam is the country’s fourth biggest trade partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

He said that at the 15th Vietnam–India Inter-Governmental meeting in New Delhi in July, the two sides agreed to soon set up an inter-subcommittee for trade between Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade and India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

The move is to push forward bilateral trade links and realise the goal of lifting two-way trade to seven billion USD by 2015, he said.

From January to September, India’s imports from Vietnam stood at 1.84 billion USD, an annual rise of 49.6 percent, while its exports to Vietnam saw year-on-year growth of 31.2 percent to 2.1 billion USD. The figure drove two-way trade to 3.94 billion USD, up 39.2 percent against the same period last year.

According to him, India is investing in 73 projects worth over two trillion USD in Vietnam, ranking 12th among the top 100 foreign investors in the country.

Referring to ways to effectively tap bilateral economic trade potential, Ha suggested the inter-subcommittee for trade gets up and running soon.

The Counsellor recommended Vietnamese and Indian firms hold regular meetings and exchanges via fairs and exhibitions so that key consumer goods and industrial products can reach more members of the public.
Vietnam and India should encourage enterprises to invest in each other, including in the private sector, he said, adding that there should be more favourable conditions for business players. For instance, they should be allowed to apply for long-term visas, and there should be more direct flights between the two countries opened.-VNA