The seminar was held by the Embassy of India in Vietnam, in coordination with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the India Chamber of Commerce, to mark the 40th anniversary of Vietnam-India diplomatic ties, the fifth anniversary of Vietnam-India strategic partnership and the 20th anniversary of India-ASEAN relations.

Ranjit Rae, Indian Ambassador to Vietnam, said two-way trade between the nations amounted to nearly US$4 billion last year, four times higher than in 2006, and that India is one of Vietnam’s top ten trading partners.

Speaking at the seminar, Hoang Van Dung, vice chairman of VCCI, said the two countries were still holding trade growth potential, citing the long-established relationship between the countries and India’s “Look East” policy.

Rae said India was a big market for Asian countries and expected Indian enterprises to come to sound out business opportunities in Vietnam. He also expected Vietnam to send business missions to India to explore the Indian market and said the Indian government would offer support for Vietnamese enterprises interested in doing business with Indian partners.

A direct air service between Vietnam and India which may either connect New Delhi with Hanoi or Bombay with HCMC may be launched late this year. The service would help boost bilateral cooperation in culture, science, education and training, economy and trade.

The Vietnam-India strategic partnership is faring well in five areas, namely politics, security, economy and trade , culture and human resource development.

By Giang Thanh - The Saigon Times Daily - January 6,2013