Vietnam’s envoy urges increasing Pak-Vietnam trade to $1bn

Bilateral trade between the two countries currently stands at about $700m

ISLAMABAD: Vietnam Ambassador to Pakistan, Nguyen Tien Phong on Sunday urged for increasing the bilateral trade volume between Pakistan and Vietnam up to $1 billion in the next two years.

“The two countries have great potential to increase bilateral trade, which is being discussed on both sides,” the Vietnamese ambassador said.

He said that presently, bilateral trade between the two countries stood at about $700 million which was far below its potential, adding that the two countries have vast potential for bilateral trade in agriculture including tea, black pepper, cashew, coffee, cotton, seafood, and dairy items.

“Manufactured products such as phone and phone’s parts computer and computer’s parts pharmaceutical, electrical and electronics and other technology equipment, rubber, steel sector and various chemicals are also in the potential trade list,” he said.

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The Vietnamese envoy said that new avenues for mutual cooperation in trade between the two countries can be opened by including trade sectors in other new sectors as well.

He said that Pakistan exports to Vietnam during 2020 which totaled $136.67 million included cotton, plastic, raw hides and skins other than fur, leather, residues, wastes of food industry, animal fodder, cereals, fish, crustaceans, mollusks, aquatics, invertebrates, Pharmaceutical products, tanning, dyeing extracts, derivatives, and pigments.

On the other hand, Pakistan imports from Vietnam totaled $437.95 million during 2020, including electronic equipment, man-made filaments, coffee, tea, mate and spices, sea foods, edible vegetables and certain roots and tubers, iron and steel, rubbers, miscellaneous chemical products, fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and aquatics invertebrates, he said.

The envoy said that the main reason for the decline in bilateral trade volume between the two countries, apart from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, was a lack of mutual awareness between enterprises of the two sides.

Replying to a question, he said that talks on further progress on the proposed Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between Pakistan and Vietnam were likely to take place in mid-November this year.

He said that in the meeting would discuss bilateral trade and investment, the PTA and also the agreement on investment promotion protection.

He said that after signing of the PTA, talks on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) are also expected.

Regarding multilateral trade in Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Pakistan’s trade interests with this trading bloc, the Vietnamese envoy said that Vietnam, being an active member of ASEAN, would play its full role in paving the way for further ASEAN-Pakistan trade cooperation.

 

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