HA NOI, (PNA/VNS) -— Leaders from 12 Pakistani pharmaceutical companies yesterday met with their Vietnamese counterparts to discuss opportunities to boost bilateral trade.
The meeting was hosted by the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP); and attracted representatives from leading pharmaceutical firms in Pakistan and Viet Nam.
According to the deputy head of VCCI’s Department of International Relations, Pham Quang Thinh, despite increases in bilateral trade during the last several years, cooperation between the two countries’ pharmaceutical sectors was limited.
“We hope the meeting will help further trade relations between the two countries in the pharmaceutical domain and in general,” Thinh said.
Statistics show Viet Nam spent US$ 3.5 billion importing pharmaceutical products and materials in 2012. At present, the country’s major pharmaceutical partners include France, India, the Republic of Korea (RoK) and Thailand; sourcing pharmaceutical materials from China, Spain, Austria, the RoK, and France.
The Vietnamese pharmaceutical industry grew by an annual average of 13.5 per cent between 2008 and 2011, and expanded 25 per cent in 2012. According to analysts, the sector’s rapid growth is providing lucrative opportunities for cooperation with foreign suppliers, including Pakistan.
During the exchange, a representative from the Pharmacy Council of Pakistan briefed participants on the development of the country’s pharmaceutical sector and incentives for foreign investors.
The representative from Pakistan’s Embassy in Viet Nam, Aizaz Khan, also emphasised the recent successes in developing trade between the two countries.
Viet Nam and Pakistan operate direct flight routes and play host to financial representative offices in an effort to reduce transport costs and increase bilateral trade.
Trade between the two countries has increased considerably, reaching $ 96.2 million in the first four months of 2013 alone.
Vietnamese commodities such as tea, cashew nuts, pepper, steel, and rubber are favourites with Pakistani consumers; while emerging products like automobiles and spare parts, handicrafts and seafood are also becoming popular in the South Asian country.
Reports also indicate that enterprises in both countries have taken significant steps to diversify exports and cooperate in lifting investment and enhance agricultural processing.