India Looking to Expand Trade Opportunities with Vietnam

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Dec. 18 – During a recent meeting with Vietnam Fatherland Front Chairman Huynh Dam, Indian President Pranab Mukherjee affirmed that New Delhi is ready to increase its trade ties with Hanoi. Based on mutual trust and a convergence of interests and views on global issues, Indo-Vietnam trade relations – including cooperation in the fields of defense, commerce, science, technology and culture – are set to expand.

In a further demonstration of the close economic ties between the two countries, India has offered to apply zero percent tax on 60 commodities which are imported from Vietnam. This bargain, which would be implemented from the beginning of 2014, would expand to include 70 commodities by 2016.

In return, Vietnam has offered to apply zero percent tax on 60 commodities imported from India by 2018. From 2019, India and Vietnam will seek further liberalization by also reducing import tariffs on commodities from their key markets, such as tea, coffee, pepper, seafood and garments.

This past Monday, a visiting Vietnam trade delegation to India affirmed that bilateral trade opportunities between each nation should be expanded. On the sidelines of an Indo-Vietnam bilateral trade session, Pham Trung Nghia, an official from the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade, requested that Indian airlines should start a direct flight between Hanoi and Kolkata.

“We need to have a direct flight to India to broaden bilateral trade opportunities between the two countries,” said Nghia.

Indo-Vietnam trade relations are expected to increase once more when Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung attends the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in New Delhi this week, at the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

At the moment, India is one of the 10 largest export destinations for Vietnam, however, Vietnamese commodities only account for 0.3 percent of India’s total import turnover. Nonetheless, according to the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, bilateral trade between the two countries in 2011 reached US$3.9 billion, and is expected to grow to US$7 billion by 2015.

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