The Swami Vivekananda Indian Cultural Centre was established in Hanoi in September 2016 to promote a comprehensive understanding of India and promote closer ties between the peoples of the two countries through cultural exchanges. The two countries also have regular exchanges of delegations in favor of youth. Mission also maintains close ties with universities and think tanks in Vietnam. The Vietnam Institute for Indian and South-West Asian Studies (VIISAS) of the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences and the Center for Indian Studies at the National Academy of Policies in Ho Chi Minh are among the main centers in Vietnam that focus on Indian studies and have academic cooperation projects with some Indian institutions. Vietnam is looking for alternative buyers for its agricultural exports after demand from China fell due to the pandemic. The removal of Indian trade barriers to imports of agricultural products can open up a new market for Vietnamese agricultural exporters. In addition, there is considerable potential for investment in livestock techniques, irrigation techniques and storage facilities. Vietnamese topography, climate and fertile soil make it suitable for coffee plantations. TATA Group has announced its intention to invest in the installation of agricultural machinery to meet demand in the Mekong Delta. Vietnam has become a prime target for many foreign companies eager to invest in Asia. According to a report by Japanese investment bank Nomura last year, 26 out of 56 companies that moved from China between April 2018 and August 2019 decided to build their new base in Vietnam. Out of a meagre $200 million in 2000, bilateral trade between India and Vietnam has grown steadily over the years. According to Indian statistics, bilateral trade between India and Vietnam reached $12.34 billion in 2019-20.
This represents a decrease of 9.9 percent compared to the previous year, mainly due to COVID-19-related business disruptions. For India, Vietnam is the 18th largest trading partner in the world and, within ASEAN, the 4th largest trading partner after Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. For Vietnam, India is the 7th largest trading partner, the 7th largest source of imports and the 9th largest export market in the world. In 2019-2020, five key items were imported from Vietnam to India, including mobile phones and components, machinery, computers and electronic equipment, natural rubber, chemicals and coffee. The main items exported from India to Vietnam were meat and fishery products, maize, steel, pharmaceuticals, cotton and machinery. The year 2020 marks the 42nd anniversary of bilateral trade between India and Vietnam. Vietnam and India have historically had strong bilateral relations, and trade between the two countries has increased significantly over the past two decades. These economic relations have materialized in several Indian investments in Vietnam in different sectors. India has a long-standing development partnership with Vietnam, which has contributed positively to Vietnam`s capacity building and socio-economic development. India has also supported Vietnam under ASEAN. Under the Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC), India has hosted Rapid Impact Projects (QIPs) worth $50,000 each in different provinces of Vietnam for municipal infrastructure development.
With their short lifespan, QIPs bring direct benefits to communities at the base. To date, 13 IPs have been completed in 12 provinces of Vietnam since 2017, while 13 new projects are underway in 2020-21. In addition, 7 aid projects will be carried out for Cham Municipality in Ninh Thuan Province at a cost of approximately $1.54 million. . . .