Vietnam and India posted a bilateral trade value of nearly 2.6 billion USD in 2010, much higher than the 1 billion USD level in 2006.

The figure was revealed by Huynh Thanh Lap, President of the Vietnam-India Friendship Association, Ho Chi Minh City chapter, at a meeting on January 21 to mark the 61 st anniversary of India’s Republic Day (January 26).

India’s Consul General in HCM City Abhay Thakur said that the implementation of the India-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement would encourage bilateral trade to develop faster.

He also said he believed that with a policy of “looking east,” relations between India and Vietnam as well as other ASEAN countries will be strengthened and that ASEAN will play a key role in the process of encouraging more economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region.

Lap said that the signing of the India-ASEAN FTA in 2009 has helped to open up more chances for economic cooperation between India and ASEAN countries, including Vietnam.

Last year, in its capacity as ASEAN Chair, Vietnam made a lot of efforts to promote multi-dimensional cooperation with India and between ASEAN and India./.