|Workers arrange steel pipe at a domestic port. Viet Nam's total trade value with South Asian countries reached $6.2 billion last year. -- Photo moit.gov.vn
HA NOI – Viet Nam's total trade turnover with countries in South Asia last year reached US$6.2 billion, posting a 30 per cent increase over the previous year.
Figures from the Ministry of Industry and Trade's market department for Africa, West Asia and South Asia showed that bilateral trade between Viet Nam and the region had a higher growth rate than others.
Viet Nam's export turnover to the region was estimated at $3.25 billion, increasing 35 per cent against 2012's imports worth $2.95 billion, representing a 20 per cent year-on-year increase.
In the region, India was Viet Nam's largest trade partner, with an average export turnover growth rate of 40 per cent in the past five years. Since the signing of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIG), the two countries' trade turnover saw a continuous increase.
Viet Nam's key exports to India have been diversified with increased value.
Vietnamese industrial products including telephones, spare parts, machines, computers, electronics and their accessories accounted for a high percentage of exports to India.
The total export turnover of these products last year was $1.5 billion, accounting for 70 per cent of the country's total exports to India.
Export turnover to Pakistan also saw an average rise of 20 per cent per year in the period 2011-12. Pakistan mainly imported tea, pepper, seafood, cashew and steel from Viet Nam, with turnover of $181 million, increasing 4 per cent in comparison with the year 2012.
Pakistan's exports to Viet Nam saw a 34 per cent decline over the previous year as Viet Nam reduced imports of products that serve the garment and textiles, leather shoes and cotton industries.
Statistics from the General Department of Customs also revealed that last year's total bilateral trade turnover between Viet Nam and Sri Lanka had reached $155 million.
Viet Nam's staple exports to the country were cotton, rubber, electric cables, mobile phones and spare parts. Its imports included cattle food, materials for making leather shoes, and pepper.
For Bangladesh, Viet Nam's total export turnover last year was more than $500 million, surging 42 per cent over 2012. All of the exported items including cotton, garments and textiles, machines and spare parts saw an increase in the growth rate.
However, investment co-operation between Viet Nam and the region was still limited in comparison with other regions.
By the end of last year, India had 77 projects invested in Viet Nam, with total capital of $250 million, while Sri Lanka had 9 projects; Pakistan, 10 projects; and Bangladesh, 2 projects.
Vietnamese businesses invested in only three projects in India, with total capital of $860,000, and invested in one project in Bangladesh.
Viet Nam and countries in the region have targeted strengthening their multi-faceted co-operation efforts in the future to better exploit their full potential. -- VNS