India is one of Vietnam’s 10 biggest trade partners, with bilateral trade turnover reaching US$5.2 billion in 2013, a chief official at the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) has said.
Bilateral trade between Vietnam and India increased by more than 30 percent compared to 2012, Doan Duy Khuong, vice president of the VCCI, was quoted by the chamber’s website as saying at a seminar in Hanoi on September 12.
The event was coordinated by the VCCI and the Marathi Bandhkam Vyavsayik Association (MBVA), giving a chance for 55 Indian real estate businesses to meet their Vietnamese peers to discuss cooperation opportunities, according to the Hanoi-based commerce and industry chamber.
The Indian firms are all members of the MBVA, an association of builders aimed at enhancing the South Asian country’s construction industry. The September 12 seminar was intended to give Indian businesses an insight into the real estate market in Vietnam, thereby strengthening cooperation between businesses of the two sides.
Vietnam shipped $2.3 billion worth of products to India last year, whereas its imports from the South Asian country topped $2.9 billion, the VCCI official elaborated.
The Southeast Asian nation’s exports to India include mobile phones, computers, electronic products and parts, coal, rubber, ore, plastic materials, chemicals and pepper. In the meantime, it imports from India raw materials for animal feed, pharmaceutical products, and machinery and equipment.
India ranks 30th out of 101 countries and territories investing in Vietnam thanks to its 77 investment projects with a registered capital of $254 million. Indian firms focus primarily on such industries as manufacturing and mining.
Khuong said the bilateral relations between the two countries “have great potential to develop in the future.”
The foundation of longstanding traditional relationships between Vietnam and India, the latter's Eastern policy as well as the former’s renovation are the favorable factors to bring opportunities for promoting relations between the two countries, the VCCI’s website cited Khuong as addressing the seminar.
India continues to regard Vietnam as an attractive destination for investment in the areas of oil, steel, minerals, tea, sugar, information technology training, as well as a transshipment point in Southeast Asia, Khuong added.
The vice president expressed his belief that trade and economic cooperation between Vietnam and India will continue to develop, despite many difficulties and obstacles, thanks to “the efforts of the governments as well as the positiveness of business communities of the two countries.”
The challenges Khuong mentioned include lack of information about each other, geographic distance, differences in culture, psychology and customs, and overlapping structures of export products.