Vietnam-China trade to rise 17 pct in 2010: official

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Trade between Vietnam and China is set to increase 17 percent to US$25 billion this year after a 5 percent growth in 2009, the Vietnam Economic Times cited a government official as saying.

Despite the economic downturn, trade value between the two countries reached $21.35 billion last year, Deputy Industry and Trade Minister Nguyen Thanh Bien said at a conference in Hanoi on Wednesday to promote trade between the capital city and Shaanxi, a province in northwest China.

A free trade agreement between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which includes Vietnam, has come into effect and it will facilitate import and export between the two neighboring countries, he said.

Officials said Hanoi and Shaanxi have enough potential in science, technology, tourism and natural resources to boost bilateral trade to a higher level than last year's "humble" figure of $48.9 million.

Vietnamese and Chinese businesses signed three cooperation agreements with a combined value of $25.5 million at the conference.

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