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Central Vietnam, India seek to enhance trade cooperation

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Vietnam’s central provinces and India have sought to boost their trade cooperation based on their strengths through a workshop held in Khanh Hoa Province on May 10.

At the workshop on trade promotion opportunities between the central provinces of Vietnam and India in 2022, Khanh Hoa Vice Chairman Dinh Van Thieu said this year was a milestone for the Vietnam-India partnership as it marked the 50th anniversary of their relations.

Vietnam is now India’s 18th largest trade partner globally and the fourth largest in the ASEAN, following Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Meanwhile, India is the seventh-largest trade partner, the seventh most prominent exporter and the ninth largest importer of Vietnam.

In 2021, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, two-way trade between the two countries exceeded US$13 billion for the first time. The figure was expected to reach US$15 billion this year.

The workshop was aimed at enhancing the connection, information exchange and cooperation between the central provinces of Khanh Hoa, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan and India. The central region wants to expand markets for its products, especially seafood, Thieu said.

Speaking at the event, Madan Mohan Sethi, Consul General of India in HCMC, said India was seeking more opportunities to promote bilateral trade cooperation with Vietnam. The US$13 billion in bilateral trade was an outstanding result last year despite the pandemic. This year, trade activities between the two countries will be enhanced regardless of global tensions.

He said central provinces had the potential for seaport processing and export, calling on Indian investors to invest in the region, especially in the seafood and agriculture sectors.

According to Bui Thi Thanh An, deputy head of the Trade Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, in the first quarter of this year, Vietnam exported US$2 billion worth of products to India and spent US$2 billion on imports from this country, rising 17% and 31%, respectively, year-on-year.

Vietnam mainly exported processed and manufactured products and agro-forestry-fishery products, making up 70% and 30% of the total exports, respectively, and imported input materials for production, consumer goods and pharmaceutical products.

At the workshop, representatives of Indian trade promotion agencies also introduced India’s seafood processing and agricultural products, which are its key export earners. India will hold many programs to introduce its products to Vietnam in the coming periods and seek Vietnamese partners.

Representatives of the Departments of Industry and Trade of the central provinces also provided information about their markets and demands to Indian enterprises. They also expected to promote trade relations with Indian firms.

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