Seminar highlights Vietnam-India strategic partnership
Vietnamese businesses have constantly boosted exports to India, especially since the signing of the ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement in January 1, 2010.
Bridging trade deficit gap
According to the Vietnamese Trade Office in India, Vietnam’s trade deficit has declined in recent years, to US$1.7 billion in 2008, US$1,215 million in 2009 and US$753 million in 2010.
Vietnam-India trade exchange in the first half of this year showed export growth was higher than import growth.
The General Department of Customs estimated Vietnam-India two-way trade turnover in the review period at US$1.85 billion, with Vietnam’s exports rising to US$755 million, (up 23 percent) and its imports dropping to US$1.09 billion, (down 18 percent). The trade deficit was just US$335 million, down 45 percent over the same period last year.
14 out of 23 products achieved high export growth, such as rubber (up 3.39 times to US$59.1 million), cashew nuts (up 98 percent to US$8.3 million), computers and electronic products (up 91 percent to US$65 million), chemicals (up 71 percent to US$24 million) and mobile phones (up 16 percent to US$171 million).
17 out of 33 imported products increased in volume but decreased in value only corn imports rose 88 percent to US$192 million.
Other products followed a downward trend, such as animal food (down 48 percent), machinery, tools (down 40 percent) and cotton (down 9 percent).
Raising two-way trade value to US$7 billion
Vietnam and India aim to raise their two-way trade turnover to US$7 billion in 2015. Indian businesses consider Vietnam as a gateway to penetrate other ASEAN markets.
In a press interview, Indian President Pratibha Patil described Vietnam as an important pillar in its Look East Policy and pledged to strengthen relations with Vietnam, both bilaterally and multilaterally.
From 2005 to 2011, Vietnam-India trade exchange increased by 5.5 times, but Vietnam’s exports to India rose 15 times.
Vietnam’s agricultural products, such as coffee, pepper and rubber accounted for 16-18 percent of the country’s total exports to the market. Most export items remain low in value as they were mainly in the form of raw materials without trademarks.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) said that domestic businesses should thoroughly research the agricultural market in India to learn about its consumer taste, pricing and distribution networks and international exchanges.
They should take park in fairs, and exhibitions, send their products to supermarkets and improve sales and marketing activity, MoIT suggested.
India is keen to do business with Vietnam in the long run. It has set up an Indian Business Development Office with more than 100 representatives operating in the country but Vietnam has no representative office in India.
The MoIT asked Vietnamese businesses to pay more attention to Indian market and gradually gain a leg up on international competition.