The first session of the Vietnam-Thailand Joint Committee on Trade Cooperation got underway in Hanoi on July 12.

During their session, the committee assessed two-way trade ties and measures to strengthen cooperation on a bilateral basis, as part of ASEAN cooperation frameworks while supporting each other at international economic forums.

A consensus was reached on a number of areas of cooperation, including trade policy, trade and investment promotions, agricultural cooperation and closer links between both private sectors.

They also agreed to step up the exchange of market information, increase trade visits to promote trade and encourage closer cooperation and connectivity between the business communities of both countries.

According to Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang, Thailand is Vietnam ’s second largest trading and investment partner while Vietnam is Thailand ’s fourth largest partner.

In 2011, two-way trade between both countries reached 8.8 billion USD, up by 20.5 percent against the previous year. In the first five months of this year, the figure was 3.8 billion USD, a year on year increase of only 2.1 percent.

Vietnam mainly imports petrol, plastics, machinery, various kinds of equipment, cars and parts from Thailand while it exports steel and agricultural and aquatic products to Thailand .

To date, Thai companies have invested around 6.7 billion USD in 257 projects across Vietnam.-VNA