|Secretary of the HCM City Party Committee, Le Thanh Hai (right) meets with the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on March 14.— VNS Photo/Courtesy of Indian Consulate in HCM City.
HCM CITY (VNS)-- India is one of HCM City's major business and investment partners, said member of the Viet Nam Communist Party's Polibureau and Secretary of the HCM City Party Committee Le Thanh Hai.
Speaking at a meeting with the President of India Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday in New Delhi, Hai said he hoped the Indian President will continue to support relations between HCM City and localities in India.
"The strategic partnership between the two countries has being profoundly promoted in all areas including politics, economy, defence and security, culture and education, and science and technology," said Hai.
President Mukherjee said he was happy to see the strategic relations between India and Viet Nam being promoted and strengthened in all areas.
He said he hoped the current visit by the high-ranking delegation from HCM City will help enhance the friendship and co-operative relationship between the two sides.
The visit by the HCM City delegation led by Hai to India from March 13 to 18 is a significant milestone in the series of high level exchanges between India and Viet Nam following the establishment of a strategic partnership between the two countries in 2007, said a statement from the Indian Consulate in HCM City.
Hai was scheduled to meet the Chief Minister of Delhi Sheila Dikshit and the Governor of the State of Maharashtra in Mumbai, as well as the Minister for Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs Kamal Nath and the President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations Dr. Karan Singh.
Hai's visit also includes meetings with the Confederation of Indian Industry in New Delhi and the India-Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IVCCI) in Mumbai.
An MOU on co-operation and exchanges will be signed between the HCM City Investment and Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC) and IVCCI.
The HCM City delegation will meet with representatives from a range of Indian companies and businesses from the areas of agro-processing, health and pharmaceuticals, steel, power, education and financial services.
According to figures from the Indian Consulate, bilateral trade between India and Viet Nam amounted to $3.9 billion in 2011, a year-on-year increase of nearly 40 per cent. The figure rose to $3.94 billion last year, despite the global economic downturn.
Indian investments in Viet Nam has exceeded $800 million and "there is scope for more, if suitable opportunities are available," says the Indian Consulate statement.
Potential areas for greater trade between India and Viet Nam include animal feed, pharmaceutical, machinery, IT education and textile accessories from India; as well as coal, chemicals, electronics and computer hardware, agro-commodities and marble from Viet Nam--VNS.