Bilateral trade target of USD 15 billion will be met before 2020: Vietnamese minister Tran Thanh Nam
Bilateral ties between India and Vietnam have strengthened in recent years with a shared focus on regional security issues and trade. India and Vietnam have traditionally been good friends ever since Vietnam’s independence in the 70s. Defense ties have grown in recent years to include not just the traditional components in this realm of ties like exchanges and port calls but also the training of personnel, capacity-building funding and equipment, coast guard collaboration, and pacts on areas such as white shipping and outer space. Bilateral trade too has continued to grow at fast pace in recent years, particularly after the relationship between the two countries were elevated to a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2016. Target fixed is USD 15 billion worth of bilateral trade by 2020 but judging by the pace of growth so far, it is most likely that the targets will be achieved much before 2020.
With a view to discuss “business opportunities and future cooperation between India and Vietnam”, a visiting high level delegation from Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development met a delegation of senior Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) officials in the Vietnamese embassy recently where avenues to enhance bilateral trade between the two countries were discussed.
The Vietnamese delegation was led by H.E. Mr. Tran Thanh Nam, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and was accompanied by senior government officials and 25-30 Vietnamese businessmen associated with the agriculture sector. The TPCI delegation was led by its Chairman Mr. Mohit Singla and was accompanies by Mr. Suresh Kumar Makhijani (Jt. DG), Mr. Kapil Gupta (Jt. DG), Mr. Aziz Haider (Director-CorpComm) and Mr. Sagar Bansal (Consultant).
The focus, as evident, was food and agri sector in which TPCI, jointly with Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt of India organizes Indusfood – India’s biggest flagship event for the food & beverage industry. Mr. Tran Thanh Nam confirmed that a strong delegation from Vietnam will be visiting Indusfood to source the requirements of F& B products from India. He said he had come with a mission to promote agriculture and talked about trading of fruits, including pomegranate, mango and oranges from India and Dragon fruit, Longan fruit, Vietnamese pepper and coffee to India. Tran Tranh Nam also talked of ways and means to promote investment in Vietnam of Indian companies in Food Processing Technology and IT sectors and said great room for two way trade between the two countries has been created courtesy the advanced SEZs that Vietnam has developed. Vietnam has acquired great competence in sea-food processing and it can readily contribute its expertise in this field, if desired, said he.
Tran Thanh Nam informed that Dragon fruit was Vietnam’s GI; the country was the key exporter of fruits to the U.S. Mechanisms to facilitate exchange of agriculture enterprises too were discussed.
Vietnam requires technological assistance for its socio-economic and trade logistics development for which India is an appropriate partner. Both countries have identified biotechnology in agriculture and healthcare, technology for new materials, IT and electronics, super-computing, nuclear energy for peaceful uses, science and technology, remote sensing and non-traditional energy for expanding trade and investment and achieving the target of USD 15 billion worth of bilateral trade by 2020.