KARACHI: Head of Vietnam Trade Mission Nguyen Thi Diep has said that Pakistan and Vietnam have been maintaining good business and trade relations as the trade volume, which stood at US 54 million dollars in 2005, reached to $ 794 million in 2021 and it will very soon cross the level of $ 1 billion despite the fact that both countries were hit hard by unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic.
While exchanging views on how to promote cooperation for the mutual benefits and promoting friendship between Vietnam and Pakistan at a meeting during her visit to Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), she said that a lot of potential and opportunities are still available for improving Pakistan’s exports to Vietnam which was less than one percent of Vietnam’s total imports.
“Vietnam imports US 1.7 billion dollars worth leather, of which Pakistan’s export share was just 1.5 percent. Similarly, Vietnam imports pharmaceutical products of around US 3.3 billion dollars but Pakistan’s export share was 0.25 percent only while the stainless steel surgical products worth $ 638 million are also being imported by Vietnam but Pakistan’s export of these items is hardly 0.18 percent”, she added.
In order to materialise the potential and opportunities between the two countries, she asked KCCI to send a high-level business delegation to Vietnam so that they could meet Vietnamese government officials and also the leaders of business organisations to explore ways and means for promoting trade between Pakistan and Vietnam.
“Secondly, the KCCI must also look into the possibility of sending delegation of sellers and buyers to Vietnam for participation or visit to trade fairs and exhibitions in Vietnam.
“Our Vietnam Trade Office in Karachi has also been regularly participating in My Karachi International Exhibition and wishes to continue to participate in this event in future as well”, she added while appreciating KCCI office-bearers, managing committee members for the great valuable support and hospitality being extended to Vietnam Trade Office in Karachi since 2005.
Highlighting Vietnam’s economic performance and international trade, she stated that despite being hit hard by Covid-19 pandemic, GDP growth rate, although, for the first time in the last 30 years, went down by 2.58 percent in 2021 but Vietnam’s economy has remained stable and Vietnam’s international trade in 2021 stood at $ 689 billion, of which goods worth nearly $ 400 billion were exported from Vietnam while the imports stood at around $ 300 billion.
She informed that the inflow of Foreign Direct Investment into Vietnam was $ 20 billion in 2021 and the major investor countries included South Korea, Malaysia, Japan, British Virgin Islands, United Kingdom and Taiwan who have invested in energy, real estate, automotive and telecommunication sectors etc.
“Pakistani investors have also invested in Vietnam in textile, medical and healthcare sectors with an investment size of $ 33 million and ranking Pakistan on 48th position, out of 149 countries/ territories investing in Vietnam.”
Earlier, President KCCI Mohammed Tariq Yousuf, while warmly welcoming Vietnam Head of Trade Mission, stated that Vietnam and Pakistan have been enjoying excellent trade, tourism, people-to-people and business-to-business relations along with deep economic ties.
He noted that Pakistan’s exports to Vietnam stood at $ 261.24 million in FY22 and imports from Vietnam grew to $ 577.93 million.
“Despite sizeable growth in export and imports as compared to preceding year, the trade volume is still low which needs to be enhanced as both countries have immense potential to fully exploit the trade and growth prospects.”
President KCCI further noted that Pakistan’s textile sector has also crossed exports $ 19 billion mark in FY22 in terms of exports which is more than 60 percent of the country’s total exports of $ 32 billion and has posted a growth of 25 percent compared to last year.
However, Pakistan’s participation in Global Value Chains (GVC) is low despite huge potential for growth therefore, Pakistan can learn from Vietnam’s knowledge and experience in creating GVC linkages in textile and other sectors so that a similar presence in the global production and supply networks like Vietnam could be established for boosting trade.
He said that small & medium enterprises (SMEs) were the backbone of Pakistan’s economy and this sector has tremendous vibrancy and resilience despite economic issues. It offers unprecedented growth potential for Vietnam’s businessmen so they may look into investment opportunities and joint ventures in seafood, paper and board, pharmaceutical and home appliances, surgical instruments, denim and other areas of mutual interest.
KCCI Senior Vice-President Touseef Ahmed, Vice-President Muhammad Haris Agar, Chairman Diplomatic Missions & Embassies Liaison Subcommittee Zia ul Arfeen, former president Majyd Aziz and KCCI managing committee members were also present at the meeting.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022