Vietnam, India step up 'new normal' trade ties

13:09 | 29/09/2020 Cooperation

(VEN) - Vietnam and India are looking to boost trade ties as well as business-to-business cooperation in the “new normal” period, particularly in mechanical engineering and machinery manufacturing.

A webinar to promote connectivity and open up new trade opportunities between the two countries in these two fields was organized by the Consulate General of India in Ho Chi Minh City, the Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) of India, and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ho Chi Minh City branch (VCCI-HCM).

Titled “Doing business with Vietnam" the online conference sought to be “a stepping stone and a foundation” to promote exchange and trade by opening up new cooperation opportunities for businesses of both sides.

Speaking at the September 22 conference, Pranay Verma, Indian Ambassador to Vietnam, noted that India was the fifth largest economy in the world, and the mechanical and machinery industry of its billion dollar production industries.

With bilateral trade topping 11 billion USD last year, India has become the eighth largest trading partner of Vietnam, he said, adding that the potential for cooperation and trade between the two countries in general and the mechanical and machinery manufacturing industries in particular was still very large.

The potential for greater trade ties was also stressed by Vo Tan Thanh, VCCI vice president and director of its HCMC branch. He said India was one of the potential markets for Vietnam to diversify its imports, given the availability of good products at affordable and resonable prices.

As parties to the ASEAN-India agreement, Vietnam and India were well placed to exploit this potential, he said.

EEPC India chairman Mahesh Desai said: “During the last few years, Vietnam has appeared as a top-three destination for India’s engineering exports to the ASEAN region that has been growing consistently. This signifies that this buoyancy could continue in future too. I am hopeful that today’s session will be a stepping stone for more such valuable interactions in future.

"Over the years, EEPC India has taken the lead in building business opportunities between two nations by enabling Indian manufacturers and exporters to explore partnerships with Vietnam."

Desai said he believed that both India and Vietnam are important emerging manufacturing nations expected to play a vital manufacturing role in post COVID-19 scenarios.

Dr. Srikar K. Reddy, Joint Secretary, EP Engineering, Department of Commerce of India, said India “would like to become a trusted partner of Vietnam in the supply of engineering goods.”

He noted that Indian exports to Vietnam grew by 4.96% during the first 8 months of 2020 to reach US$ 2.96 billion, up from US$ 2.82 billion during the corresponding period in 2019. The growth of Indian exports was primarily due to a significant increase in shipments of iron and steel, other base metals, machinery, equipment, electrical products, motor vehicles and motor vehicles parts, he said.

“The brand value of Indian engineering has been rising rapidly in developed as well as emerging economies and the Indian government has always been on its toes to make Indian exports globally competitive and to turn India into an exporter of high value engineering products by addressing the technology gap and other concerns adequately and efficiently,” Reddy added.

Lauding the webinar for providing relevant information, Do Phuoc Tong, Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City Association of Mechanical - Electrical Enterprise (HAMEE) said that the association was ready to act as a bridge between businesses of the two countries to promote two-way direct investment, enhance technology transfer as well as the sharing of experiences.

My Phung