10:10 | 04/04/2018 Cooperation
(VEN) - Vietnam and India hope to increase bilateral trade to US$15 billion by 2020, according to a joint statement issued by the two sides during President Tran Dai Quang’s visit to India from March 2-4.
President Quang and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed on the need to adopt targeted measures to achieve US$15 billion in bilateral trade, focusing on diversifying export products, reducing trade barriers and enhancing air and maritime transport connectivity. The two sides also agreed to exchange development assistance packages in fields such as infrastructure, human resources, science and technology, research and development.
President Quang affirmed Vietnam’s wish to attract more investment from Indian businesses, especially in the fields of renewable energy, infrastructure, education and information technology.
Following their talk, President Quang and Prime Minister Modi attended the signing of cooperation agreements, including a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on economic and trade cooperation between the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Also signed was an action plan on agricultural cooperation in the 2018-2020 period, and an MoU on cooperation between the Vietnam Atomic Energy Institute and the Global Center for Nuclear Energy Partnership.
The two sides agreed to hold the next session of the Joint Sub-Committee on Trade at the earliest opportunity in 2018. President Quang also attended a Vietnam-India Business Forum with the participation of more than 300 companies. According to the Indian Embassy in Hanoi, economic and trade relations between the two countries have expanded, with bilateral trade growing tenfold over the past decade. Economic cooperation has increased rapidly, especially since the two countries established a strategic partnership in 2007 and upgraded it to a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2016.
Data from the Indian side show that bilateral trade exceeded US$10 billion in the 2016-2017 fiscal year and both sides are determined to raise it to US$15 billion by 2020. Currently, Vietnam is India’s fourth largest trading partner in ASEAN, and India ranks 10th among Vietnam’s trading partners. Indian Ambassador to Vietnam Parvathaneni Harish said trade between the two countries reached US$7.6 billion in 2017, up 40 percent compared with 2016. He believes there’s room for further trade growth.
India currently ranks 28th among 126 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, with 168 projects with total registered capital of US$756 million. Major Indian groups, such as TATA, ONGC and Essar, have successfully invested in Vietnam. Vietnam hopes to attract more Indian investment in renewable energy, manufacturing industry, information technology and infrastructure construction - fields where India has advantages and Vietnam has demand. Experts believe the two countries should increase air, land, maritime transport and digital connectivity.