Vietnamese and Indian businesses gathered at a meeting in New Delhi on December 19 to exchange information and explore market opportunities.

Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang reviewed the Vietnam-India friendship and traditional relationship and briefed participants on the development of bilateral trade over the past years.

He said two-way trade between Vietnam and India reached 3.9 billion USD in 2011, a fourfold increase since 2006. The figure in the first 10 months of 2012 hit 3.23 billion USD, of which Vietnamese exports to India generated 1.45 billion USD.

The 2007 Vietnam-India strategic partnership agreement and the enforcement of the India-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (FTA) have helped facilitate trade exchanges between the two nations, he stressed.

In addition, industrial cooperation between Vietnam and India has also expanded. Several Indian corporations and companies, including Tata, Essar and ONGC, have cooperated effectively with Vietnamese partners in the fields of oil and gas, energy, chemicals, and steel production.
Mining, textile and automobile assembling are other potential business areas for Indian investors, he added.

To increase bilateral trade, Hoang suggested the two business communities make full use of their countries’ competitive advantages, share market information, and boost trade and investment through exhibitions and fairs.

Shantanu Srivastava, who has run a business in Vietnam for 30 years, highlighted Vietnam ’s potential areas that Indian businesses should invest in.

He also shared his experience in exploring the market and opening a representative office in Vietnam , and suggested the two Governments accelerate the formation of air, land and sea-based transport links to promote trade activities.

On December 18, Hoang joined Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Anan Sama to open the second India-ASEAN Business Fair.-VNA