HANOI – Vietnam’s exports to India in 2013 amounted to US$2.4 billion, up 33 percent from its 2012 figure of US$1.8 billion, according to the Department of Africa, West Asia and South Asia Markets (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Department’) of Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Preliminary statistics released by Vietnam Customs show that telephones, mobile phones and their components are the main export product to India, accounting for almost 40 percent (US$926 million) of the total exports. Other products making up a significant proportion of exports to India were machinary, equipment and tools (US$242 million), computers, electrical products and their compo-nents (US$231 million) and rubber (US$211 million). While most of these products can account for a large part of Vietnam’s exports generally, the strong demand for rubber appears to be particular to India, which uses rubber both for re-export and for domestic use in making car tires.
Fishery products were also among the items experiencing high turnover. Tea, coffee, cashew nuts and pepper were similarly in high demand for re-export purposes. The Department added that there was still potential for Vietnamese export to India to grow further, by capitalizing on India’s consumption trends and diversified need for products. It cited canned foods, fine arts, handicraft, clothing and construction materials as items that had further potential for export to the Indian market, though they do not make up a large share of exports currently.
India has become a major importer of Vietnamese goods, with Vietnam exports to the former British colony increasing by around 46 percent annually in the period 2008 to 2012. Part of this marked growth in exports can be attributed to the tariff cuts in the ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement, which came into effect in 2010.
According to Vietnam Customs’ statistics, the US remains Vietnam’s largest export destination with an estimated US$23.9 billion of exports in 2013, followed by Japan and China at US$13.7 billion and US$13.3 billion of exports respectively. Other notable export destinations in the Asian region include South Korea (US$6.6 billion), Malaysia (US$4.9 billion), Hong Kong (US$4.1 billion), Thailand (US$3.3 billion), Singapore (US$2.7 billion) and Indonesia (US$2.5 billion).
A recent HSBC report on Vietnam’s economic prospects predicts exports would experience strong growth of 20 percent in 2014, up from 15.4 percent in 2013. The report expects this growth will be driven by increased global demand, particularly from Europe and the U.S. as those economies start to recover.
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