ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Indian, Vietnamese firms look to boost investment
Trade between India and Viet Nam has room for further development as economic cooperation still falls short of potential and expectations, Deputy Chairman of HCM City People's Committee Le Manh Ha has said.
Speaking at a networking event last week with the Indian business community, he told the general consul of India, Deepak Mittal, that good political relations had laid a strong foundation for bilateral trade and investment cooperation, particularly since the countries signed a Strategic Partnership agreement in 2007.
However, trade between HCM City and India remained modest, with total trade turnover of US$ 700 million in 2013.
As of the end of 2013, the city had 26 Indian-invested projects worth around US$5.4 million.
"This networking evening is essential to bring our businesses closer and untap potential and investment and trade opportunities," he said.
Several Indian companies specialising in petroleum, medicine and agriculture are currently seeking investment opportunities in Viet Nam.
"The opening of a direct air route is being discussed, which will help boost economic and cultural exchange," he said.
According to Mohan Ramesh Anand, chairman of the Indian Business Chamber Viet Nam, which has 209 members, strong growth occurred last year in business and cultural activities between the two countries.
Total trade increased 20 times over the last 10 years, with India now among the top 10 trading partners of Viet Nam.
In 2013, total trade turnover reached US$5.24 billion, an increase of 32.8 percent against 2012. The volume totals more than US$7 billion if commodities traded to a third country are counted.
"Incham Viet Nam believes that Indian economic presence in Viet Nam in 2014 will be significant and calls on Viet Nam to explore more aggressively the opportunities for benefits in the large and growing market in India," said Ramesh.
As of 2013, Indian enterprises invested in 68 projects in Viet Nam with capital of US$936 million in various sectors, including oil and gas exploration, mineral exploration and processing, sugar manufacturing, agro-chemicals, IT and agricultural processing.
Currently, the biggest Indian project in Viet Nam is from ONGC in offshore drilling, and the second is the TATA POWER power plant in Mekong Delta's Soc Trang Province.
Meanwhile, Vietnamese enterprises have invested US$8 billion in India, according to Incham.
The networking night was held for the first time to establish better relations between Viet Nam and India's business communities.
The event was co-organised with the Malaysian Business Chamber and Singapore Business Chamber, on the occasion of a visit to Viet Nam by a delegation from the Indian Textile Accessories and Machinery Manufacturers Association.
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