ISLAMABAD: The Vietnam Ambassador to Pakistan, Nguyen Tien Phong on Wednesday said that talks on further progress on the proposed Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between Pakistan and Vietnam are likely to take place in mid-November this year.
The bilateral talks on the proposed PTA to be held under the framework of the upcoming ‘5th Viet Nam – Pakistan Subcommittee on Trade’ he said. In the Subcommittee meeting both sides will discuss the two top agendas of bilateral trade and investment, the PTA and the agreement on investment Promotion Protection, the ambassador said.
The ambassador said that the fifth round of talks under the Trade Subcommittee will also discuss the other issues of bilateral trade and investment cooperation between the two countries.
He said that after the signing of the PTA, the talks on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) would also be expected to increase the trade volume between the two countries.
He said that at present there is a bilateral trade of about US$700 million between the two countries, which is far below its potential, there is a need to enhance the trade volume, with an aim of US$1 billion in the coming 1-2 years.
Responding to a question, he said that the main reason for the decline in bilateral trade volume between the two countries, apart from the impact of the corona pandemic, was the lack of mutual awareness between the two sides, which needed to be improved in the future.
Regarding multilateral trade in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Pakistan’s trade interests with this trading bloc, the Vietnamese Ambassador said that Vietnam, being an active important member of ASEAN, would play its full role in paving the way for trade to Pakistan.
He said that ASEAN is a very effective trading bloc of the world and has signed the FTAs with China, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand from which all the regional countries are benefiting.
Ambassador Phong said that Pakistan also has good trade and economic relations with ASEAN countries, which need to be further enhanced.
The ambassador said that the Golden Jubilee of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Vietnam in 2022, would be marked in a dignified manner in which the development of bilateral diplomatic and trade relations between the two countries would be reaffirmed.
He said over the course of these five decades, Pakistan-Vietnam relations have been excellent on the diplomatic, trade and economics fronts and added the two countries supported each other in every international forum and mutual cooperation.
He said that trade, economic, cultural and people-to-people contacts between the two countries would have to be further enhanced. According to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade, Pakistan’s exports to Vietnam were US$136.67 Million during 2020.
Pakistan imports cotton, plastic, raw hides and skins (other than furskins), leather, residues, wastes of the food industry, animal fodder, cereals, fish, crustaceans, mollusks, aquatics, invertebrates, Pharmaceutical products, meat and edible meat offal, tanning, dyeing extracts, tannins, derivatives, pigments, and Products of animal origin to Vietnam.
According to data, the Pakistan Imports from Vietnam was US$437.95 million during 2020, including the electrical, electronic equipment, man-made filaments, coffee, tea, mate and spices, Edible vegetables and certain roots and tubers, iron and steel, rubbers, miscellaneous chemical products, fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and aquatics invertebrates. TF Report