India on Sunday said it has granted the ‘Market Economy Status’ to Vietnam, which responded by entering into the Indo-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement that was signed with other members of the 10-nation block in August.

“Yes we have granted the MES to Vietnam...and the Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung thanked our Prime Minister,” Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs N. Ravi said. Singh had a bilateral meeting with the Vietnamese leader.

The grant of MES would ensure that in the case of any anti-dumping investigation in India against Vietnamese imports, the information provided by that country would be taken as transparent and correct.

In the absence of MES, the transparency of information on a trade transaction is not taken at a face value.

While nine other ASEAN members — Brunei Darussalam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand had signed the trade opening pact with India in August this year, Vietnam had insisted on getting MES from India before it could join the agreement.

Though India has a small trade volume of $2.12 billion, the signing of FTA is likely to give it a boost, an official said.

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