Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai said he was glad to see India is looking to boost cooperation with Vietnam in economics, trade, and investment, and thrilled that they consider Vietnam a centerpiece of their Look East Policy.

The Deputy Prime Minister made the remark at a reception for Indian Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industry Rajeev Kher in Hanoi on January 20.

He noted that the Indian government is providing increased support for Indian businesses looking to enter the Vietnamese market, especially for high-added value products.

The official suggested the two countries actively coordinate measures to implement agreements and commitments between the two governments during Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit to India in October 2014.

He also proposed India minimise trade and tariff barrier measures against Vietnamese exports, while encouraging businesses to increase trade activities in Vietnam and support Vietnamese partners looking to attend trade fairs and business forums in India.

The two sides must advance the implementation of oil and gas exploration agreements in Vietnam between the Indian multinational Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Videsh and the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam).

Within the multilateral framework, the pair should actively work together to implement the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and India on goods and services and move forward with negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Rajeev Kher said India is eager to cooperate with Vietnamese partners in agriculture, health, trade, and industry.

He also said India hopes to assist and exchange experience with Vietnam in other fields such as information technology and software, key strengths of his country, to enhance Vietnam’s competitiveness in the sectors.

India and Vietnam are working to bring their trade to 7 billion USD in 2015 and 15 billion USD in 2020.-VNA