Vietnam and Kazakhstan have committed to enhancing cooperation in various areas ranging from politics to economics, trade, industry, customs, judiciary, investment, culture, sports, tourism and aviation. The commitment was made at the sixth session of the Vietnam- Kazakhstan Inter-governmental Committee on Economic, Trade and Scientific-Technological Cooperation in Vietnam's capital Hanoi on Tuesday, which was co-chaired by Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade (MIT) Le Duong Quang, and Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister S. Sarubai. The two sides assessed the implementation of the previous session's signed documents, the Joint Action Plan for the 2011- 2013 period, and outcomes of bilateral economic, trade, scientific and technological cooperation over the past time, according to state-run Vietnam News Agency. They also discussed issues affecting their cooperation while proposing concrete solutions to enhance the linkage in the time to come. According to Vietnamese MIT Deputy Minister, political and diplomatic ties have developed fruitfully. The visit to Vietnam by Kazakh President N. Nazabaev in late 2011 and the visit to Kazakhstan by President Truong Tan Sang in September 2012 have created an impulse for further economic and trade links between the two countries, said the MIT official. Vietnam and Kazakhstan have signed several important cooperative documents in various realms during the 2011-2013 period, including agreements on animal quarantine and protection, investment encouragement and protection, tourism cooperation and judicial assistance in civil and trade sectors. In addition, many others are under consideration. Deputy Minister S. Sarubai announced Kazakhstan's decision to open its Embassy in Vietnam in 2014 to boost bilateral ties. In an effort to create a legal framework for economic and trade cooperation, the two sides have also taken the initiative in negotiating the free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia since early 2013. They also accelerated cooperation in culture, sports, tourism, aviation and investment, he said, citing direct flights from Almaty to Ho Chi Minh City launched by Kazakhstan's national flag carrier, Air Astana. Statistics released by the Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade show that the two-way trade between Vietnam and Kazakhstan have recorded remarkable growth with export-import value reaching 85.6 million U.S. dollars in 2012, up 176 percent against the previous year. In the first half of 2013, bilateral trade revenue hit 74.7 million U.S. dollars, representing a year-on-year increase of over 200 percent. Vietnam's major exports to Kazakhstan include phones and attached accessories, farm produce, garments and textiles, machinery and steel while importing chemicals, metals and ore from the country.