Pakistan, Vietnam to boost trade to $500mn

 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Vietnam agreed to boost bilateral co-operation in the fields of trade, industry, agriculture, finance, banking and communication.

Heads of the Vietnamese and Pakistani delegation informed each other of the two countries’ socio-economic performances in recent years at the third session of the Vietnam-Pakistan Intergovernmental Committee, hosted by the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) in Hanoi, Daily Vietnam News reported on Thursday.

Tariq Bajwa head of Pakistan’s delegation and Secretary Economic Affairs Division agreed with the Vietnamese representative’s ideas and suggested fields with bright prospects for co-operation such as banking, agriculture, information technology and mobile phones.

He also emphasised the Pakistani government’s wish to sign a preferential trade agreement between the two countries, moving towards a free trade agreement (FTA) with Vietnam.

Vietnamese Deputy Minister for Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said both sides should intensify delegation exchanges to boost bilateral engagement while stressing the importance of encouraging trade promotion programmes and market research among the business communities.

Both sides should outline orientations for agriculture, finance, banking and tourism cooperation, he added, noting that Pakistan needs to enhance cooperation with Vietnam in potential fields, particularly technology.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani side added information technology as one of the promising co-operation fields with Vietnam.

According to statistics from the General Department of Vietnam Customs, trade revenue between Vietnam and Pakistan climbed to US$427 million in 2014 from $242 million in 2010.

In the January-October period this year, the figure was recorded at $475 million – an annual increase of 40 per cent, and is expected to reach $500 million for the entire year.

Vietnam’s major export items to Pakistan include tea, fiber, pepper, rubber, marine products, machinery, garments, tobacco materials, Fero alloy and chemicals. Notably, Pakistan is Vietnam’s largest tea importer, importing over 35,000 tonnes of tea worth US$81.2 million in 2014.

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