HCMC – A new shipping route connecting Vietnam’s central region with the Indian eastern city of Kolkata has been inaugurated.
Speaking at the launch ceremony, which was held virtually on July 27, Counselor Bui Trung Thuong, head of the Vietnam Trade Office in India, said that India remains Vietnam’s eighth largest trade partner. Two-way trade could hit US$15 billion this year, when Vietnam and India are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic ties.
Potential for more trade growth between the two countries is significant, but one of the bottlenecks is transportation given the lack of a direct sea route linking the two nations. The new shipping route operated by the Vietnam Maritime Corporation (VIMC) will create business opportunities for Vietnamese and Indian firms, he said.
Addressing the event, Le Quang Trung, vice general director at VIMC, said VIMC sees India as an important trade partner of Vietnam.
Transport activities across the world, especially in Vietnam, have been severely affected by soaring sea freight rates.
Therefore, VIMC has actively conducted market research and expanded new shipping routes linking Vietnam with other regions in the world, including India, to help bolster Vietnam’s foreign trade, the VIMC representative added.
Pham Viet Chien, Vietnamese Ambassador to Bangladesh, said he hoped the new route would boost trade between Vietnam and Bangladesh as well as Bangladesh has a long borderline with India.
He added that the Vietnamese Embassy in Bangladesh is willing to support Vietnamese and Bangladeshi companies in business connections.
K.S. Rai, director of India-based Three Bees Shipping Company, said that the route will enable Vietnamese firms to approach the eastern Indian region with a population of over 600 million people and open up major trading opportunities for the two sides.
In November last year, VIMC launched a container shipping route connecting the northern port city of Haiphong with Malaysia and India to stabilize transport services and support local businesses.
Following the success, in May this year, VIMC began operating 1,000-TEU container vessels to transport cargo from Cua Lo in the north-central province of Nghe An to India. This direct shipping service between Vietnam and India has helped shorten the shipping time to 14-15 days from 21-22 days on other routes.
VIMC is set to open another route to Bangladesh’s Chittagong port next month.