At the third meeting of the Vietnam-Thailand joint trade committee (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) –
Vietnam and Thailand agreed on some measures to remove difficulties for businesses in carrying out trade activities at the third meeting of their joint trade committee in Hanoi on August 3.

Vietnam’s Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh and Thailand’s Minister of Commerce Sontirat Sontijirawong co-chaired the event.

The two sides discussed specific collaboration plans to raise two-way trade to 20 billion USD in 2020, and work for more balance in bilateral trade.

Minister Tuan Anh suggested Thailand create more favourable conditions for Vietnamese firms to export farm produce and food to the market as well as speed up procedures to grant licences allowing the import of several kinds of Vietnamese fruits.

He also urged Thailand to remove the procedure of licensing the export of milk and dairy products from Thailand to Vietnam, reduce and eliminate trade protection measures against Vietnamese iron and steel products.

The minister called on the two sides to build coordination regulations to provide early warnings about the possibility of conducting trade remedies investigations on the other country’s export products.

Tuan Anh also said the two countries should enhance coordination in multilateral cooperation frameworks.

Also at the conference, the two sides looked at some issues of Thailand’s concerns such as the import of made-in-Thailand automobiles into Vietnam and Vietnam’s regulations on the rights of distributing medicines and medicine materials, the transport, storage and marketing of medicines in the market.

Solutions to enhance cooperation in other fields such as agriculture, transport, customs, banking, investment, employment, intellectual property, and regional and sub-regional cooperation were also on the agenda.

Thailand is currently the biggest trade partner of Vietnam in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with two-way trade increasing to 15.3 billion USD in 2017 from 11.5 billion USD in 2015, an annual growth of 15.5 percent.

Meanwhile, Vietnam is the second biggest trade partner of Thailand in ASEAN, following Malaysia.

In the first six months of 2018, the bilateral trade reached nearly 8 billion USD, a year-on-year rise of 14.7 percent. Vietnam exported over 2.7 billion USD worth of goods to Thailand in January-June, up 22.7 percent against the same period last year.-VNA