Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, which was held virtually, Counselor Bui Trung Thuong, head of the Vietnam Trade Office in India, said that India is Vietnam's 8th largest trading partner. Two-way trade is likely to reach the target of 15 billion USD this year, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Vietnam - India diplomatic ties.
Despite the great trade potential between the two sides, one of the bottlenecks is traffic connectivity, especially the lack of a direct sea route connecting the two countries, he said, therefore, the shipping route linking the central region of Vietnam and Kolkata city, India operated by Vietnam Maritime Corporation (VIMC) will open up great business cooperation opportunities for Vietnamese and Indian businesses.
VIMC Deputy General Director Le Quang Trung affirmed that in its development strategy, VIMC considers India an important trading partner of Vietnam. Sea freight rates have increased in the past years, seriously affecting transport activities of the world in general and Vietnam in particular.
To find solutions to Vietnam's import and export activities, VIMC has actively implemented market research and expanded new sea routes connecting Vietnam and other regions around the world, including India, he said.
VIMC inaugurated a container shipping route linking Vietnam, Malaysia and India in November last year to ease pressure on cargo transportation, stabilise the supply of transport services and support domestic firms. In May, it continued to bring 1,000 TEU container ships to Cua Lo in the central province of Nghe An to transport goods to India. This is a direct connection between Vietnam and India, thus helping to shorten the transportation time to 14-15 days as compared to 21-22 days for other routes.
The corporation aims to launch another route to Chittagong port of Bangladesh this October.
Vietnamese Ambassador to Bangladesh Pham Viet Chien expressed his hope that this route will promote trade between Vietnam and Bangladesh. He affirmed that the Vietnamese Embassy in Bangladesh is ready to support Vietnamese and Bangladeshi firms in business connection.