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Pakistan asked to reap benefits of Vietnam FTAs

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Vietnam has asked Pakistan to avail itself of the opportunities arising from free trade agreements (FTAs) Hanoi has signed with the European Union, the United States, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea and other nations while at the same time Vietnam can benefit from Islamabad’s GSP Plus status.

“Vietnam and Pakistan can use each other’s strength,” remarked Vietnam Ambassador Nguyen Tien Phong while talking to Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Kashif Anwar at the LCCI office.

The envoy called Pakistan a big country with vast potential that could be utilised for promoting trade between Vietnam and Pakistan.

He emphasised the need for forging business-to-business and people-to-people contacts and floated the idea of issuing e-visas to promote business activities.

He highlighted the potential sectors where the two countries could collaborate, which particularly included tourism, and said exchange of delegations and linkages were important. Pointing to the significance of textile sector, the ambassador pointed out that Vietnam imported yarn and cotton from Pakistan, produced garments and exported to the EU, Japan and the US. Similarly, “Pakistan can also import fibre from Vietnam to produce fabrics for exports.”

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He mentioned information technology as another critical area where affiliations were important as Vietnam “is currently associated with Japan, India, South Korea and other countries”.

Agriculture is another very important sector, which can deliver fruitful results. The envoy cited Vietnam’s success from being a food-insecure country before 1986 to the third biggest rice exporter in 1989. He also underscored the trade and investment potential of other sectors such as Halal food, seafood and fish farming.

Speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Kashif Anwar said that Vietnam and Pakistan had been enjoying sound diplomatic relations for more than 50 years, which were formally established in 1972. In addition, they are engaged in trade and economic cooperation in diverse fields.

“On the path of rapid economic growth, Vietnam made impressive progress in industrial, agricultural and services sectors. It was the result of broad-based economic transformation, which opened Vietnamese economy to international markets and foreign trade.”

Global exports of Vietnam have surpassed $370 billion while its global imports have crossed $358 billion. “We have a lot to learn from Vietnam economic model,” he remarked.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 20th, 2024.

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