Programme promotes India-Mekong Sub-region cross-border trade

by NDO/VNA20 August 2021 Last updated at 13:00 PM

Participants at the programme (Photo: VNA)
Participants at the programme (Photo: VNA)

VTV.vn - A programme to promote cross-border trade connectivity between India and countries in the Greater Mekong Sub region (GMS) was jointly held by trade promotion agencies of Vietnam, India, Thailand and Cambodia on August 19.

The programme is part of activities of the Mekong - India SME Internationalisation Programme funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to integrate small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of India and GMS member countries into global value chains and promote the India-GMS trade connectivity.

At the event, representatives of Vietnam, India, Thailand and Cambodia briefed on the business environment in their respective countries and shared experience in how to facilitate trade and investment cooperation between the countries.

Citing data from the Vietnam Association of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, deputy head of the Trade Promotion Agency of Vietnam Bui Thi Thanh An said Vietnam has about 700,000 SMEs, accounting for about 97.5% of the total number of enterprises and contributing up to 45% of the gross domestic product (GDP).

The level of internationalisation of Vietnam has greatly improved since its economic reforms in the late 1980s, An said, noting that the country has officially joined and signed 14 valid free trade agreements (FTA), and one is about to take effect, while engaging in negotiations on two others.

Vietnam is currently one of the countries in the world that exports many important commodities such as rice, coffee, pepper, seafood, footwear, garments and electronics, while its imports mainly focus on commodity groups serving production and export.

Two-way trade between Vietnam and India grew strongly in the first seven months of 2021, hitting US$7.46 billion, with Vietnam's exports surged 31.78% year-on-year to US$3.4 billion and imports 63.7% to US$4.06 billion.

Participants said amid the complicated development of COVID-19 pandemic, governments should take measures to help their SMEs to move beyond national borders and expand markets.

According to An, SMEs face many competitive challenges and vulnerability in international trade. Vietnam has issued many policies to support SMEs to overcome difficulties and promote their potential and strengths.

However, due to its limited resources, the Vietnamese Government always wishes to receive support from international institutions, especially large institutions such as ADB, she said.

Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises of India AlkaNangia Arora said in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak, businesses of countries need to optimise technology to connect with each other because they are all part of international supply chains.

Representatives of Cambodia and Thailand expressed their hope that countries would successfully cooperate in the Mekong - India SME Internationalisation Programme.


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