Two-way trade between Vietnam and India has so far this year reached 1.845 billion USD, a year-on-year rise of 0.45 percent, according to the Export-Import Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Of the figure, Vietnam earned 755 million USD from exports to India , up 22.6 percent, while importing goods worth 1.09 billion USD from the country, down 11 percent compared to the same period last year.

Apart from traditional commodities like farm produces and handicrafts, the export of value-added products such as steel and steel products, rubber, coal, computer hardware, machinery, means of transport and chemicals has seen increases. Of these, machinery grew 70.3 percent, computers, electronic products and spare parts, 91.2 percent; rubber, 358.9 percent; and cashew nuts, 97.6 percent.

According to the Vietnam Trade Office in India , with a population of 1.2 billion, most of them are middle- and low-income earners, India is a promising market to Vietnam due to similar consumption demands.

In fact, Vietnamese goods are not so popular to Indian customers. Vietnam has yet to find out main exports to India while trade ties between the two countries still fail to match their potentials.

Experts from the Export-Import Department said that India has a large import demand for Vietnam ’s tea, coffee, cashew nut and pepper for re-export.

Furthermore, the country expects to import 62,000 tonnes of natural rubber in 2012 for the production of car tyres for domestic consumption and export.

However, to make full use of the ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement, Vietnamese businesses should intensify market study to seek partners, according to experts.

They should also study carefully customs procedures as well as other information about the market.-VNA