LAHORE - Ambassador of Vietnam Hguyen Quang Thuc has stressed the need for more frequent meetings of Joint Economic Commission and high-level bilateral exchanges to increase two-way trade between Pakistan and Vietnam. The Ambassador was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Tuesday. The LCCI President Zafar Iqbal Chaudhry, former President Mian Muzaffar Ali and Executive Committee members also spoke on the occasion. The Ambassador said that Vietnam was ready to begin negotiations for signing Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Pakistan as it had already signed nine Agreements and MoUs that are enough to ensure a solid base for the promotion of economic cooperation between the two countries. He said trade had emerged as one of the most outstanding fields of cooperation and was developing rapidly from less than $10 million in 1999 to $149.8 million in 2008 and $135.82 million during the first 9 months of 2009. He said Vietnam Embassy had already done a lot of economic task for creating favorable conditions for Pakistan business community so that they could visit Vietnam for having first hand knowledge about available business opportunities over there. He said that the volume of exchanging business visits were on the rise from 180 persons in 2006 to 590 in 2007 and nearly 1000 in 2009. Ambassador said that the economic reforms initiated in 1986 had recorded remarkable achievements of historical significance, changing the image of the country and creating premises and momentum for Vietnam to advance more rapidly and firmly on the path of industrialization and modernization. In pursuing the foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, openness, diversification and multi-lateralization of external relations and active international integration, the diplomacy has become an important front in time of peace and made important contribution to maintaining and securing the peaceful environment and creating a favorable international environment conducive to national construction and defence, thus enhancing the position and prestige of the country in the international arena. He said along that line, Vietnams foreign policy is to expand multi-sided, bilateral and multilateral cooperation with countries and territories on the basis of respect for principles of International Law and the United Nations Charter. As the world becomes more globalized and the science-technology revolution advances with high speed, one major task is to proactively promote international integration, first and foremost in the economic field. In this process, high on Vietnams agenda are to expand external economic and culture relations.