Minister asks India to open market for farm produce

Thursday, Feb 16, 2023 07:45

A farmer harvests dragon fruits at a garden using high technology for export at Thanh Long-Long Tri co-operative in Chau Thanh District, Long An Province. — VNA/VNS Photo

Viet Nam hopes India will speed up the opening of its market for farm produce and fresh fruit, Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien proposed during his reception for Indian Ambassador to Viet Nam Sandeep Arya in Ha Noi on Tuesday.

Highlighting that Viet Nam is rich in tropical fruits, but only dragon fruit has reached the Indian market, Minister Dien asked for the Indian diplomat’s support in hastening the import licensing process for Vietnamese fruits, initially longan, pomelo, rambutan and durian, and then for others such as avocado, coconut, watermelon and strawberry.

The Vietnamese official raised concerns about India's policy measures in recent years, including those against peppercorn, cashew nuts and incense sticks of Viet Nam, underlining that the measures may hinder trade activities between the two sides.

He suggested that the Indian ambassador convey these concerns of Viet Nam in particular and ASEAN countries in general to relevant authorities, while seeking suitable solutions on the basis of regulations and commitments in a multilateral framework, ensuring the legitimate interests of all parties.

Dien hailed the role of the ambassador in promoting the partnership between the two countries, especially in trade, industry and energy. He expressed his hope that the diplomat will make greater contributions to the growth of the Viet Nam-India comprehensive strategic partnership in the time to come.

Both sides shared delight at the expanding bilateral economic, trade and investment cooperation over the years, with India becoming the largest investor and trade partner of Viet Nam in the South Asian region.

Two-way trade reached only US$15 billion in 2022, up 13.6 per cent year on year but accounting for only 2 per cent of the total trade of Viet Nam and the world, they noted.

They held that with the sound political and diplomatic relations, high cooperation potential and large international scale of both sides, there is still room for both sides to further promote their bilateral trade.

Dien asked for India’s close coordination in preventing the disruption of the supply and production chain in the region and the world.

The two sides should increase trade promotion programmes and activities to connect businesses of the two countries, the Vietnamese minister said.

For his part, Ambassador Sandeep Arya said that Viet Nam is the most important trade partner of India among the ASEAN countries, and the Vietnamese and Indian economies can supplement each other. Viet Nam is also India’s important partner within its Indo-Pacific Vision and Act East Policy, he said.

He spoke highly of the economic cooperation potential between the two countries, especially in renewable energy, oil and gas, information technology, digital economy and pharmaceuticals, which will lead to abundant collaboration opportunities between the two sides at present and in the future.

The diplomat agreed with measures to strengthen the bilateral economic and trade ties proposed by Dien, especially those on preventing the disruption of supply chains, strengthening trade promotion and expanding the trade of farm produce.

Regarding India's trade-restrictive policy measures, Ambassador Sandeep Arya pledged that he will discuss the issue with relevant Indian agencies to seek positive solutions.

As both sides are preparing for high-level visits in 2023, they should promptly deal with existing problems in bilateral economic and trade partnership, he underlined.

He agreed to organise the next meeting of the Viet Nam-India joint sub-committee on trade cooperation in New Delhi in the first half of 2023 before the organisation of the Viet Nam-India Joint Committee’s meeting and visits of leaders of the two countries this year. — VNS

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