Vietnam-India trade:

Plenty of cooperation opportunities

06:00 | 18/06/2020 Cooperation

(VEN) - Vietnam and India are complementary economies. To increase trade, however, the two sides need to promote cooperation in developing value chains in sectors such as textiles, garments, leather, footwear, electronic equipment, machinery and engineering, said Bui Trung Thuong, Head of the Vietnamese Trade Office in India, in a talk with Vietnam Economic News’ Thu Phuong and Nguyen Huong.

plenty of cooperation opportunities
Bui Trung Thuong, Head of the Vietnamese Trade Office in India

The Vietnamese Trade Office in India has carried out various activities to assist businesses affected by Covid-19. Could you share the outcome of these activities?

We have assisted businesses in seeking material resources for facemask production as well as for the textile, garment, leather and footwear sectors. The office has connected domestic companies with Indian partners to meet their high demand for Covid-19 rapid test kits and protective suits. An Indian company has signed an exclusive contract with the Viet A Technologies Joint Stock Company to purchase Vietnam’s Covid-19 test kits for distribution in India, the UK and some European countries and to help the Vietnamese company complete necessary procedures to apply for the EU’s CE marking.

Vietnam has essentially controlled the Covid-19 epidemic and the office has assisted domestic companies in seeking opportunities to promote exports. Despite India’s ongoing nationwide lockdown, the office has applied information technology to maintain contact with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) to discuss trade promotion programs and plans amid and after the pandemic. The Vietnamese Trade Office in India was among the first ones to propose online trade promotion events. On April 28, the first online trade conference themed “Vietnam-India trade promotion: Opportunities and challenges in the post Covid-19 period” was held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency, the Vietnamese Trade Office and Embassy in India, in association with India’s PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The conference was a success and was hailed by the business communities of the two countries. The office will continue coordinating with FICCI, the Confederation of Indian Industry, and the Trade Promotion Council of India to organize online trade events.

Diversifying material supply sources is necessary, especially for the textile, garment, leather and footwear sectors, to maintain production in difficult contexts such as Covid-19. Do you think India is a suitable material supply source for Vietnamese business?

India has significant advantages in terms of textile, garment, leather and footwear. The total value of the Indian textile and garment sector has reached about US$140 billion, with domestic sales accounting for US$100 billion and exports for US$40 billion. The total value of the Vietnamese textile and garment sector is about US$45 billion. Domestic textile and garment companies can import cotton, fiber, fabric and garments from India.

The Indian leather and footwear industry has grown on a stable basis and created a major source of foreign currency revenue for this South Asian country. The sector has abundant material resources, skilled workers and advanced technologies.

Vietnam wants to boost manufacturing and export of textiles, garments, leather and footwear. India is an attractive market with a stable supply of quality fabric, fiber and materials for leather and footwear production, helping reduce the gap and even enhance the competitiveness of Vietnamese products in the global market.

plenty of cooperation opportunities

How do you predict the trend of bilateral trade, especially in the context of complicated changes in the global economy?

The structure of sectors involved in bilateral trade has changed. In the past, materials for the agricultural, animal husbandry, pharmaceutical and chemical sectors accounted for a large percentage of the total value of bilateral trade. Today, the range of goods traded between the two countries has expanded, including agricultural products, machinery, equipment, electronic products, mobile phones and materials for labor-intensive sectors such as textiles, garments, leather, footwear and handicrafts.

Vietnam and India should increase cooperation in developing value chains in sectors such as textiles, garments, leather, footwear, electronics and engineering. To do this, the two sides need to set up government-to-government, government-to-business and business-to-business dialogue mechanisms. A Vietnam-India Business Council should also be established to share strategic viewpoints on development cooperation, organize trade promotion programs and help businesses overcome difficulties.

With other markets either saturated or heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, India is a market that has great potential for Vietnam. The Vietnamese Trade Office in India has helped many domestic companies open representative offices or branches in this country. The office encourages additional domestic companies to open representative offices in India and increase their presence there.

Potential Vietnamese exports to India include farm produce and processed food. Among agricultural products, dragon fruit and basa fish sell well in the Indian market.

Thu Phuong & Nguyen Huong