09:22 | 24/09/2015 Trade
A sound and stable Vietnam-India trade relationship is more important than ever, said speakers at a recent business forum in Ho Chi Minh City sponsored by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).
Vietnam-India trade and economic cooperation has generated huge and real benefits for Vietnam, while India has been gaining a lot from it as well.
Vietnam’s combined imports and exports with India surged to US$5.6 billion in 2014 from just US$1 billion in 2006.
Relative to the size of its population trade is still modest and the governments of both countries believe that if the stars line up it could reach a phenomenal US$15 billion by 2020.
In the first seven months of this year, the total commercial trade amounted to US$3 billion with imports and exports relatively equal at US$1.5 billion, resulting in balanced trade.
Six key exports to India were mobile phones and components, machinery, computers & electronic hardware, natural rubber, chemicals and coffee while the biggest imports were fish and seafood, corn, steel, pharmaceuticals, cotton and machinery.
President Arun Kumar of the Merchant Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) in India in turn underscored the priority the Indian government places on the 10-nation ASEAN bloc.
A new era of economic development is underway in India and the India-ASEAN partnership is central to his nation’s plan to scale up its ‘Look East’ policy to an upgraded ‘Act Easy Policy’.
Vice President Janal Sheth of the Federation of Gujarat Industries (FGI) who is leading a contingent of 30 Indian businesses on a due diligence visit to Ho Chi Minh City shared Kumar’s enthusiasm about future trade prospects with ASEAN in general and Vietnam in particular.
He stressed his delegation’s visit has been specifically aimed at broad basing their relations to encompass all possible areas of cooperation and deepen the two nation’s strategic partnership.
An Indian trade delegation is also expected to visit Vietnam soon to explore cooperation in power and shipbuilding sectors said Kumar.
Last but not least, Tat Thanh Cang, Vice Chairman of the HCM City Municipal People’s Committee, lauded the trade promotion programs carried out by the two governments as having provided tremendous economic benefits./.