LAHORE: Trade boost is linked to the exchange of trade delegations, therefore, private sectors of Pakistan and Vietnam should focus on this particular area, suggested Vietnam Ambassador Pham Hoang Kim.
Speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), he termed the exchange of business delegations a must to explore each other’s market.
“There should be regular interaction between chambers of commerce of both countries,” he stressed. “Pakistan and Vietnam have strong diplomatic relations and entrepreneurs of both sides should have business-to-business meetings to strengthen mutual trade relations.”
Regarding business visas for Vietnam, the ambassador pointed out that there must be an invitation or immigration proposal given by a business partner from Vietnam.
He asked the LCCI and Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry to join hands in order to arrange visits of trade delegations and promote business activities between the two countries.
Speaking on the occasion, LCCI Vice President Mian Zahid Jawaid Ahmad highlighted the investment opportunities in the Special Economic Zones being set up under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
“It is encouraging to note that in a span of 10 years, Vietnam has become an important trading partner of Pakistan,” he pointed out. “Among major importing and exporting countries of Pakistan, Vietnam stands at 27th and 18th positions respectively.”
The balance of trade is in favour of Vietnam. In 2018, the trade deficit of Pakistan stood at $69 million.
“From 2017 to 2018, the bilateral trade fell from $717 million to $633 million,” he said. “This was due to 24% decrease in imports from Vietnam while Pakistan’s exports to Hanoi remained unchanged at $282 million.”
Pakistan’s exports to Vietnam mainly comprise frozen fish, woven fabrics of cotton, oilcake, leather, oilseeds and frozen meat whereas its imports include electrical equipment, dried vegetables, tea, manmade filaments and frozen seafood.
The LCCI vice president was of the view that regular exchange of trade-related information between the two countries could prove vital in enhancing the bilateral trade volume to $1 billion.
“Commercial sections of our missions have to play a key role in this connection,” he remarked. “By exchanging trade delegations and organising single-country exhibitions in each other’s country, we can explore the hidden trade potential.”
He was of the view that the economic development achieved by Vietnam over the last 10 years was a perfect case study for Pakistan. In 2009, he elaborated, the total trade volume of Vietnam was $127 billion, which expanded to $480 billion in 2018.
“We are keen to know about the economic policies implemented by Vietnam that have produced such wonderful results,” the chamber official said.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 21st, 2020.