Vietnam – India: Trade collaboration continues to grow Print
Tuesday, 11 April 2017 16:12

VIETRADE - Vietnam-India trade has grown continuously in the recent years as well as in the first two months of this year. India is identified as a potential market for Vietnamese exports while Vietnam is also considered a fruitful market for Indian commodities.

 

Trade increases significantly

According to the statistics of the General Department of Customs, the bilateral trade revenue between Vietnam and India in the first two months of 2017 reached US$1.08 billion, rising by 37.76% compared to last year. Of the total, our export revenue to India estimated at US$54.46 million, rising by 32.2%, and the import revenue from this market was reported at US$630.24 million, rising by 42.05% compared to the same period of 2016.

 

The Vietnam’s export structure to India has shifted positively from raw agricultural products to industrial products and consumer goods with high value added and high gray matter volume. Commodities that posted the highest export revenues included mobile phones and components, machinery, equipment and spare parts, computers, electronic products and components, rubber, chemicals, coffee, pepper, footwears, garment and textile, etc.

 

With strong growth in export revenues, electronic products and components have replaced mobile phones and components as the No.1 commodity group in the list of Vietnamese exports to India in the first two months of this year. The export revenue of this group was reported at US$91.37 million, an increase of US$58.27 million compared to last year. Mobile phones and components ranked the second with a total export revenue of US$64.84 million, increasing by 11.1% over the same period of last year.

 

In general, most of commodity groups exported from Vietnam to India saw an increase in revenues in the first two months of this year. Tea was the item with the highest growth rate of 1,508.64%; followed by steel with an increase of 258.42%; computers, electronic products and components with an increase of 176.08%; confectionery and grain products with an increase of 142%; metals and products with an increase of 78%; and rubber products with an increase of 59.19% over the same period of 2016.

 

Only seven export commodity groups to India was reported with a decrease in the export revenue in the first two months of 2017; in which, pepper dropped by 46.5%, rattan, bamboo, rush products and mats by 83.3%, chemicals by 35%, etc. compared to the same period of last year.

 

In the first two months of this year, many imported items from India to our country also increased in revenues over the same period of 2016 such as irons and steels by 1,661.19%; vegetables and fruits by 148.69%; machinery, equipment, other tools and spare parts by 140.54%; vegetable-sourced and animal-sourced oils by 103.72%; animal feed and raw materials by 65.30%, etc. They were mainly machines, equipment, and materials for manufacturing and breeding in Vietnam.

 

The bilateral trade needs to be boosted

Answering a number of newspapers about trade relations between Vietnam and India in recent years, H.E. Ton Sinh Thanh, Vietnam Ambassador to India, said that during the past years, especially since the strategic partnership between the two countries was established in 2007, its economic and trade relations have had significant improvements. The bilateral trade revenue jumped from US$1.1 billion in 2006 to US$9.1 billion in 2016 (data from India).

 

For Vietnam, India is a huge unexploited market while they consider ours as a big market in Southeast Asia.

 

Ambassador Ton Sinh Thanh mentioned the two nations as the two big exporters of agricultural goods. Each year, Vietnam exports to India a great amount of coffee beans and pepper, worth US$200 million while it also imports a big amount of seeds from India, especially peanuts and sesames, with a total value of approximately US$300 million.According to him, there is a huge potential for Vietnam-India trade to grow.

 

Ambassador Ton Sinh Thanh said that India is a very lucrative market for Vietnamese spices because they are indispensable in local meals. In addition, many local companies also import these products for processing, then exporting to other countries. Therefore, the Ambassador suggested Vietnamese enterprises to boost exports of spices as well as coffee and cashew nuts to India. In addition, Vietnamese fruits such as dragon fruit, longan and lychee can also be exported to India in a huge volume.

 

The import and export activities between the two countries have encountered some difficulties in the past few days after India suspended the import of some Vietnamese goods such as coffee bean, bamboo (bamboo toothpick), black pepper, cinnamon, cassava and dragon fruit in early March 2017. This action was made right after the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) of Vietnam, H.E. Nguyen Xuan Cuong, signed a decision to temporarily suspend the import of peanut, Cassia tora seed, cocoa bean, haricot and tamarind from India due to the high risk of Caryedon serratus Olivier infection.

 

However, on March 16, 2017, MARD leaders and the Embassy of India in Vietnam worked together and agreed that India would cancel the temporary importing suspension of agricultural products in Vietnam. This order was officially dropped at the end of March 2017. In return, Vietnam has also amended its Decision No. 558/QĐ-BNN-BVTV on the temporary importing suspension of peanut, Cassia tora seed, cocoa bean, haricot and tamarind from India. Accordingly, the import of these Indian agricultural products to our market will not be temporarily suspended but only batches with no infection can be circulated into the market while infected batches will be treated. Earlier, on March 15, 2007, the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam issued a note requesting India to comply with the international practices and soon to abolish the temporary suspension on the import of coffee bean, bamboo, black pepper, cinnamon, cassava and dragon fruit from Vietnam.

 

Thus, with the efforts of enterprises and competent agencies, after a few days of interruption, the export of pepper and some Vietnamese agricultural products to India has recovered.

 

For this situation, Ambassador Ton Sinh Thanh acknowledged the quick action of both countries in removing their ban on importing agricultural products from each other as a crucial action to avoid unnecessary damages to both sides.

 

The Ambassador emphasized that when trade relations increased, trade disputes would be unavoidable, for any partners. However, Vietnam and India must deal with disputes faster, considering each other’s interests, in the spirit of traditional friendship and comprehensive strategic partnership between the two nations.

 

According to Ambassador Ton Sinh Thanh, Vietnam and India are preparing an Action plan to turn the objective of building a comprehensive strategic partnership into the reality. Both countries will identify measurements to strengthen its political trust and boost all five cooperation pillars, including the economic-trade pillar. In addition, the two countries will identify appropriate measurements to achieve the bilateral trade revenue of US$15 billion in 2020.



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