Indian ambassador H.E.Ranjit Rae emphasised the need to boost trade by having more frequent visits between Vietnamese and Indian business people at a press conference here on April 4.

"The most important thing for business people is to know each other, to know where there are possibilities for cooperation, for mutually beneficial trade and investment," he said.

The ambassador announced that an Indian delegation of 62 business people led by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Federation of Indian Export Organisation will visit Vietnam to explore business opportunities from April 5-9.

The delegates come from different sectors, including agriculture, food processing, chemicals, construction materials and machinery, handicrafts, electrical equipment, gems and jewellery, oil, leather, garment and textile, and science equipment.

Moreover, Indian companies will participate in the Vietnam Expo at Giang Vo Exhibition Centre from April 6-9.

They will also participate in a seminar on trade and investment between the two countries on April 5, and some other events during their stay.

"There is huge potential in Vietnam , and Indian companies will look at the country much more closely to identify opportunities," said Ambassador Rae.

He said two-way trade had increased rapidly, standing at 2.75 billion USD last year.

"But the figure is still far below the potential," he added.

But the ambassador said investment remained quite low given the fact that Indian companies have been making major investments abroad in order to establish a global presence.

Statistics released by the Ministry of Planning and Investment show that Indian companies have pumped about 210 million USD into 50 projects in Vietnam .

In an effort to raise bilateral trade, Ambassador Rae said the Indian government has endorsed a new scheme to extend preferential credit to overseas companies for the import of goods and services from India .

The Exim Bank of India will extend credit to Vietnamese companies that are executing projects in a range of areas, such as infrastructure, power, oil and gas. The lending period will last between 10 and 15 years

Ambassador Rae said this plan will be further introduced to Vietnamese companies during the delegation's visit./.