Vietnam and India are working closely together to achieve their bilateral trade target of 15 billion USD by 2020, a Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry bigwig has said.

Speaking at a Vietnam-India business meeting in Ho Chi Minh City on July 14, Vo Tan Thanh, director of the VCCI's HCM City office, said trade between the two countries had increased sharply in recent years, going up from 1 billion USD in 2006 to 8 billion USD last year.

Vietnam's key exports to India include mobile phones, rubber, cashew, porcelain, iron and steel, and wooden products, while it imports cars, drugs, garment and textile feedstock, chemicals, machinery, building materials, and others.

India is now one of Vietnam's top 10 trading partners while the latter ranks 28th for India.

As of June, India ranked 30th among 103 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, with nearly 380 million USD in 100 projects.

Vietnamese companies have invested around 26 million USD in India.

Smita Pant, the Indian consulate general in HCM City, said there was great potential for cooperation in many sectors, including tourism, between the two countries.

"There is an increasing interest in holiday tourism from India to Vietnam and in medical and spiritual tourism from Vietnam to India."

A delegation representing more than 20 Indian companies seeking business opportunities in Vietnam took part in the event held at the VCCI.

They operate in the cement, property, power, infrastructure development, bio-technology, jewellery, agricultural machinery, tourism, and consultancy sectors.

"When we think of Vietnam we must look into a market of ASEAN economic community of over 600 million, TPP, FTA with number of countries and regions including EU and Custom Union. Therefore our advice is to move beyond trade and look into investment," Pant said.

"Vietnamese also need to look at India's vast market," she said.

At the event, the VCCI and a business group from an Indian state called the Andhra Chamber of Commerce signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance exchange of knowledge and information.

V.L Indira Dutt, Chairwoman of the ACC, said: "India now ranks among the most attractive investment destinations and the investment activity is grounded on stronger footing.

"With such a positive prevailing economic environment, I am sure, investors from Vietnam would be nothing but enthused to travel to India. There has been a boom in retail, e-commerce and a great advancement in technology."-VNA