‘Vietnam a huge business opportunity for India’

October 13th, 2011 - 7:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Mumbai, Oct 13 (IANS) Inviting Indian business and technical expertise in various sectors, Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang Thursday said the demand for material and machinery is high in his country and that there is a huge potential for Indian businesses in Southeast Asia’s fastest growing economy.

Truong invited Indian expertise in sectors like healthcare, oil and gas, manufacturing, agro-industry, pharmaceuticals, automotive, IT, shipping and ports, electrical consumer appliances, education and road infrastructure.

“The demand for material and machinery is very high with a huge export potential for you. Indian businesses need to learn more about the situation in Vietnam so they can profit from it,” he said while speaking at a business forum.

Organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the Vietnam-India Business Forum was attended by captains of industry of both the nations who gathered to discuss mutually beneficial business partnerships.

“Beginning 2010, Vietnam has implemented a 10-year-long modernisation policy which has thrown open the need for products and services worth hundreds of millions of dollars. India with a long-standing expertise in almost every one of those field, can take advantage of the same,” Truong said.

At the same time, he also stressed on the urgent need for information exchange between the two countries.

Stressing on Vietnam’s emphasis on development that led to business friendly policies like a reduction of corporate tax, greater freedom to private enterprise, emphasis on exports, production of consumer goods and encouragement to foreign investments, the president called upon Indian companies to avail the preferential policies of his government to promote investment in his country.

Farhad Forbes, past chairman, CII (Western Region) and Director Forbes Marshall, put the India-Vietnamese business ties into statistical perspective.

“Bilateral trade with Vietnam stands at close to $4 billion, ten times more than what it was in 2000. Vietnam’s exports to India crossed $1 billion in 2010-11, a jump of 92 percent over the previous year and India’s exports to Vietnam also increased to $2.6 billion,” he said.

Forbes also said that he expected bilateral trade between the two countries to cross $7 billion by 2015.

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, in his keynote address, said that his nation’s image in the international community has changed drastically in recent times.

“Vietnam and India have a time honoured tradition of friendship. The two nations trust each other. And though India is one of the top 10 business partners of Vietnam, bilateral business is much below potential. The need is thus for strategic partnership and economic relations will receive the highest attention from us,” Nguyen said.

Later, Truong called on Maharashtra Governor K. Sankaranarayanan and reiterated that Vietnam and India have always had a warm and friendly relationship and that the two countries have emerged as the fastest growing economies.

Mentioning that he had undertaken the visit to India to strengthen the tradition of friendship and to enhance strategic co-operation, the president said he wanted to take the relationship to new heights.

Welcoming the Vietnamese president to Maharashtra, the governor expressed the hope that Truong’s visit to India will further strengthen multi-lateral relationship between the two countries. He also expressed the desire to encourage cooperation in the field of higher education between India and Vietnam.

Undeterred by Beijing’s objections, India and Vietnam Wednesday sealed in New Delhi an accord for oil exploration in the South China Sea and signed half a dozen pacts, including an extradition treaty, to expand their strategic partnership.

India and Vietnam also launched a security dialogue and set a bilateral trade target of $7 billion to add more economic heft to their growing relationship.

In a subtle message aimed at Beijing, whose relations with Hanoi are under strain over a host of issues, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called India’s strategic partnership with Vietnam “a factor of peace, stability and development” in the Asia-Pacific region. However, he added that the relationship stood “on its own merits”.

In an important step, state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp’s overseas investment arm OVL signed a three-year agreement with PetroVietnam for developing long-term cooperation in the oil sector in the presence of Manmohan Singh and Truong.

The pact covers new investments and strengthening presence from drilling-to-dispensing in Vietnam, India, and other countries, ONGC said in a statement in New Delhi.

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