ISLAMABAD - Pakistan and Vietnam in the second session of the Joint Trade Commission (JTC) have showed great motivation to achieve $500 million target of bilateral trade by December 2013.

The second session of the JTC between Pakistan and Vietnam was held in Islamabad on 28-29 August.  Tahir Raza Naqvi Chief Executive Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) led the Pakistan's delegation while Le Duong Quang Deputy Minister of Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam led the Vietnamese delegation.

The JTC deliberated on the measures to enhance and promote bilateral trade between the two countries including simplification of visa procedures for businessmen, exchange of trade and commercial information between the trade promotion agencies and institutionalising cooperation among the state trading corporations of both the countries.

The Vietnamese side assured that the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam would facilitate Pakistani businessmen in getting visa. Vietnam also assured Pakistan to consider waiving off the requirement of a Vietnamese sponsor. However, for the time being if Pakistani businessmen do not have a sponsor in Vietnam, the Commercial Section of Vietnam at Karachi will forward the case to Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam. If the Ministry is satisfied, it will become the sponsor for Pakistani businessmen.

During the meeting, an MoU was signed wherein Pakistan recognised Vietnam as Full Market Economy. Vietnam assured Pakistan of its full support in its bid to become the Full Dialogue Partner of ASEAN.

The selected product sectors for special promotional measures include leather and leather products, Pharmaceuticals and Seafoods from Pakistan side, while the Vietnam authorities would launch promotional campaign to increase export of tea, cotton and synthetic fiber and fisheries to Pakistan. The agreed roadmap to work closely for enhanced trade in the specified sectors includes exchange of delegations, participation in fairs/exhibitions, sharing of information on quality standards and trade procedures between the two sides.

Later, the Vietnamese delegation led by Le Duong Quang Deputy Minister of Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam met Senior Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim in his office.

Both sides discussed different aspects of trade relations between the two countries.

Meanwhile, addressing business community Le Duong Quang said that Vietnam wants to strengthen its friendship with Pakistan, especially in trade and investment. He expressed hope that second secession of Pak-Vietnam Business Council would help strengthen business cooperation between both countries as well as would gather Vietnamese counterparts that are interested in expanding businesses in Pakistan.

He said that Trade Promotion Agency of Vietnam and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan should collaborate and sign mutual agreements for promotion of trade and economic relations between both countries.

In his welcome address, Yassar Sakhi Butt, President ICCI said that it is encouraging that Pakistan and Vietnam are now moving forward to further strengthen their bilateral economic and trade relations as both countries have great potential to enhance mutual cooperation in various sectors of their economies.

ICCI President said that bilateral trade between Pakistan and Vietnam has improved from $60 million in 2005-06 to $262.5 million in 2010-11, however, it is far below the true potential of both countries. He said that both countries have good potential to complement each other in different areas including science & technology, IT & telecommunication, industry, banking & finance.