Vietnam and China will sustain their robust cooperation with the growth of two-way trade estimated to hit double digits this year, Vietnamese Commercial Counsellor to Beijing Bui Huy Hoang told Vietnam News Agency in a recent interview.

The figure is likely to top the 60 billion USD target set by their leaders, of which Vietnam’s exports to China will be higher than in 2013, he said.

Last year, their trade surpassed 50 billion USD for the first time, up 21.9 percent year-on-year. Of the figure, 13.26 billion USD was Vietnam’s exports to the country. China remains Vietnam’s biggest trade partner and the fourth largest export partner, behind the Europe Union, US and Japan.

According to Hoang, the promotion of trade and investment is vital to bilateral trading activity. The annual China - ASEAN fair in Nanning has gone a long way to forging trade relationships.

Meanwhile, the Vietnam International Trade Fair – Vietnam Expo 2014 will take place in Hanoi on April 16-19 and in Ho Chi Minh City on December 3-6; events which are expected to lure hordes of Chinese and global investors.

Hoang said more delegations of business owners will travel to Vietnamese and Chinese localities this year. Via exhibitions, fairs and trade promotion, Vietnam is expected to attract more Chinese investment in industrial production as Chinese investors are looking to rapidly expand in this sector.

Asked about what Vietnamese firms should do to gain strong footholds in China, Hoang said they face harsh competition as most of their exports are raw materials, especially farm produce - a strength of Chinese domestic producers.

Added to this, the language barrier is among factors that make it hard for Vietnamese firms to learn about the market. Hoang advised them to be fully aware of their strengths and weaknesses and focus on highly-competitive goods.-VNA