India, Vietnam to work towards $7 bn trade target

New Delhi, Jan 9 (IANS) India Wednesday described Vietnam as a major pillar of its Look East policy and said the two countries were on track to achieve the bilateral trade target of $7 billion by 2015.

Speaking at a joint press interaction with visiting Vietnam Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said "India considers Vietnam as a major pillar of its Look East Policy" and a valued partner on multilateral fora such as ASEAN, East Asia Summit and Mekong Ganga Cooperation.

India and Vietnam have set up a joint working group on trade and inked an agreement on aviation to boost flights between the two countries.

Vu Van Ningh said he had extended an invitation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to visit Vietnam.

The two sides discussed ways to boost economic, strategic, cultural and people-to-people ties.

India and Vietnam are celebrating 40 years of friendship.

Their bilateral trade in 2011 stood at around $4 billion, with the balance of trade in India's favour.

India's exports to Vietnam include pharmaceuticals, machinery and auto parts, and Vietnam's exports to India include mobile telephone accessories and coal.

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