08:33 | 12/09/2018 Vietnam - Asean
(VEN) - The third meeting of the Vietnam-Thailand Joint Trade Committee, co-chaired by Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh and Thai Minister of Commerce Sontirat Sontijirawong, took place recently in Hanoi, contributing to economic cooperation and trade between the two countries.
Important trading partner
General Department of Vietnam Customs data show that Thailand currently is Vietnam’s largest trading partner in ASEAN. Bilateral trade grew from US$11.5 billion in 2015 to US$15.3 billion in 2017, at an average annual rate of about 15.5 percent.
In the first six months of 2018, bilateral trade reached US$8 billion, 14.7 percent higher compared with the first half of 2017. Statistics from the Thai side show Vietnam is currently Thailand’s second largest trading partner in ASEAN, after Malaysia.
At the meeting, Minister Tran Tuan Anh affirmed Thailand’s importance to Vietnam in terms of both trade and investment, saying cooperation mechanisms between the two countries have proven effective.
According to Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong, Thailand and Vietnam established diplomatic ties 42 years ago and the two countries upgraded bilateral relations to a strategic partnership in 2013. Both sides have maintained tight coordination to promote economic cooperation, as well as bilateral trade and investment.
Facilitating Vietnamese exports
Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong believes meetings of the joint committee offer opportunities for the two sides to discuss measures to increase economic cooperation, trade and investment, as well as to deal with problems facing the region and the world.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Department of Asia and Africa Markets, at its third meeting, the joint committee reviewed the results of economic cooperation and trade achieved since the second meeting in 2015, and discussed specific cooperation plans aimed at a US$20 billion bilateral trade target for 2020 and balanced bilateral trade.
The two sides also reached a consensus on measures to resolve difficulties in import, export activities. The Vietnamese side asked Thailand to facilitate the export of Vietnamese farm produce and food, and accelerate the licensing process for Thai businesses to import certain kinds of Vietnamese fresh fruit. Vietnam also requested that Thailand abrogate procedures required for Thai businesses to import milk and milk products from Vietnam, and reduce/lift trade defense measures against Vietnamese iron and steel. The two sides will maintain coordination to give early warnings on possibilities of trade defense investigations against each other’s export products.
The two sides also discussed matters of concern to Thailand, such as the export of Thai automobiles to Vietnam, Vietnamese regulations on the right to distribute drugs and pharmaceutical materials, and drug transportation, warehousing and marketing in Vietnam.
Quynh Nga & Viet Anh