KARACHI: Deputy Director General of Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry & Trade Mr. Do Quoc Hung, who led a high level Vietnamese delegation to Karachi Chamber, said that Vietnam’s global trade turnover was more than US$500 billion this year, of which Pakistan-Vietnam trade volume was around US$600 million only which was way too low against the expectations and potentials.
“This meager trade volume can certainly be improved as both countries have many advantages and potentials while Vietnamese government is keen to improve trade and investment cooperation with Pakistan”, he added while speaking at a Business-to-Business meeting between Vietnamese delegates and KCCI members.
Commercial Counselor of Vietnam Nguyen Hong Tien, Acting President KCCI Arshad Islam, Vice President KCCI Shahid Ismail, Chairman of KCCI’s Diplomatic Missions & Embassies Liaison Subcommittee Shamoon Zaki, Chairman Fairs, Exhibitions & Trade Delegations Subcommittee Haroon Qaiser, Managing Committee members and others were also present at the meeting.
Highlighting some of the advantages and potential for developing trade and investment cooperation, Deputy DG of Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry & Trade said, “Vietnam and Pakistan have been enjoying very good political and friendly relations while the two countries are huge markets as Vietnam’s population is roughly 100 million and Pakistan’s population is double of Vietnam’s population hence there is a great demand for numerous commodities on both sides.”
“Moreover, Pakistan’s business community can consider Vietnam as gateway to ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) region and can also benefit from the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) which have been signed by Vietnam with many countries around the world”, he added.
He said, “As Vietnamese government is keen to develop trade and investment cooperation with Pakistan, this trade delegation has been sent which comprises of manufacturers and suppliers of spices, health supplement, herbal drinks, rice, wheat, coffee, animal feed, frozen seafood, confectionery & beverage, biological products, agricultural products and frozen seafood etc.”
Vietnamese Deputy DG was of the opinion that Karachi Chamber with a strong membership base of 23,000 direct and more than 55,000 indirect members was the right platform which can bridge and connect the business communities of the two countries.
He hoped that today’s Business-to-Business event organized by Karachi Chamber would pave way and present good opportunity to Vietnamese companies to get connected with Pakistan companies.
He also requested Karachi Chamber to arrange a similar delegation to Vietnam next year which will be fully assisted and facilitated by the Vietnamese government.
Earlier, Acting President KCCI Arshad Islam, while commenting on bilateral trade between Pakistan and Vietnam, pointed out that during 2018, Pakistan exported goods to Vietnam worth $282.25 million while the imports from Vietnam stood at $412.37 million which was way too low as compared to the potential.
Hence, the business communities will have to enhance linkages to improve the meager trade volume between the two countries.
He was of the opinion that Pakistan needs to seek Vietnam’s help in accessing economic community of ASEAN for greater market share while Vietnamese investors can invest in energy, electricity, textile material, vehicle component and agricultural goods processing units.
Arshad Islam also stressed the need to exchange trade delegations to boost bilateral engagement and market research among the business communities. Vietnam and Pakistan should take part in each other’s trade fairs and exhibitions.
He said that Vietnam has good expertise in producing hydropower and it could cooperate with Pakistan in this field. Vietnamese investors should visit Pakistan to explore Joint ventures (JVs) particularly in seafood sector by jointly setting up shrimp farming and processing units, besides looking into the possibility of investing in China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
He further mentioned that the cost of Vietnamese visa on arrival was $190 for Pakistanis where as it was just $10 for Indians.
This is a glaring disparity which is limiting trade and people interaction between the two countries. There is an utmost need to remove such anomalies so that business relations between the two countries can realize their full potential, he added.