|Indian investment today in Viet Nam is close to US$1 billion and is all set to grow with the Tata Group investing around $2 billion in Soc Trang Province. — Photo pc2.vn
HCM CITY (VNS) — Economic ties between Viet Nam and India have yet to match the vast potential and huge aspirations of their leaders, officials on both sides and entrepreneurs agreed at a meeting the Indian consulate held yesterday in HCM City to mark the launch of its "Made in India" campaign.
Smita Pant, the Indian consulate general in HCM City, said India encouraged foreign investment in its market of 1.3 billion.
Vietnamese investors were also welcomed and the country had rolled out of a red carpet, she said.
"The potential is huge and as far as India and Viet Nam trade and investment relations are concerned, the business community is sitting on a gold mine, which needs to be explored."
Besides online licensing, the Indian Government has also announced new policies for 24 sectors in which it is seeking investment, including construction, health, bio-technology, ports, aviation, railways, defence, and space, according to the diplomat.
She said this month there would be a high-level Vietnamese delegation including businesspeople visiting India.
Direct flights between India and Viet Nam are set to begin in less than two weeks' time.
A memorandum of understanding for twinning HCM City with Mumbai is under discussion, and efforts are going on to open an Indian bank branch in HCM City, according to Pant.
There is opportunity for India to get more investment from Vietnamese companies as Viet Nam is becoming one of the top investors in Myanmar and its investments in Bangladesh are growing.
Both these countries border India's north-eastern region.
"We call upon you to look at India with its huge market, privatisation exercise, ease of investment, and the commitment made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself to welcome investments," Pant said.
Some Indian companies have shown interest in investing in wind energy, bio-mass, hi-tech agriculture, and infrastructure.
Indian investment today in Viet Nam is close to US$1 billion and is all set to grow with the Tata Group investing around $2 billion in Soc Trang Province.
Le Phuoc Vu, co-chairman of the Viet Nam - India Business Forum and chairman of the Hoa Sen Group, said India was Viet Nam's biggest market in South Asia and Viet Nam's sixth largest trading partner.
Mohan Ramesh Anand, the chairman of the Indian Business Chamber in Viet Nam, said Vietnamese companies had many opportunities to invest in India.
Vietnamese companies had invested more than $8 billion in more than 500 projects abroad, he said.
Besides the traditional markets of Laos and Cambodia, they had also made significant investments in Russia, Malaysia, Algeria, the US, Cuba, Myanmar, and Bangladesh, but had only three projects in India worth $23.6 million, he added.
According to the Foreign Investment Agency, India has 77 projects, most of them small, in Viet Nam to rank 27th among investing countries and territories.
Bilateral trade is worth around $5.5 billion, and is expected to cross $7 billion by 2015 and $15 billion by 2020.
Tat Thanh Cang, deputy chairman of the HCM City People's Committee, said ties between HCM City and India were a highlight of the bilateral relationship, with trade in 2013 worth almost $700 million.
But he admitted that the co-operation did not match the potential or expectations of the two sides. — VNS