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EghtesadOnline: An Iranian delegation consisting of 20 Iranian businessmen, including President of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture Gholamhossein Shafei, is in Vietnam on a trade mission to seek ways of improving business relations with the southeastern Asian country.

The five-day visit to Vietnam, starting April 18, is taking place at the invitation of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Persian daily Shargh reported.

This is a follow-up to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Hanoi in October last year, during which the two sides reached an agreement to expand bilateral trade from the current $390 million to $2 billion a year ago.

Rouhani and Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang pledged to facilitate cooperation in different fields, including energy, information and communications, agriculture, fisheries, science-technology and banking, Financial Tribune reported.

The Iranian delegation is due to participate in a business forum on Thursday in Hanoi.

They also have plans to visit Vietnam’s deputy minister of industry and trade and other Vietnamese trade officials, apart from attending the Vietnam Expo 2017 and a business forum in Ho Chi Minh City.

According to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Customs Administration, Iran exported $392 million worth of non-oil goods to Vietnam last Iranian year (March 2016-17), registering a 20% increase year-on-year.

Iran established diplomatic ties with Vietnam in 1973. The two countries have had mutual cooperation ever since. Iran opened its embassy in Vietnam in 1991 and Vietnam opened its own six years later.

Vietnam became a member of the World Trade Organization in 2007 after 11 years of tough negotiations with WTO members.

The current economic system in Vietnam is considered a socialist-oriented market economy.

 It is a multi-sectoral market where the state sector plays a decisive role in directing economic development, with the eventual long-term goal of developing socialism.

Iran Chamber of Commerce Iran-Vietnam trade Gholamhossein Shafei