There are untapped investment opportunities awaiting Indian investors in Vietnam , deputy head of the Ministry of Planning and Investment's Foreign Investment Agency Nguyen Thi Bich Van told a business conference held on April 5 in Hanoi .

Van described infrastructure construction, oil and gas, information technology and telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and finance as promising sectors for Indian enterprises, saying that Vietnam will create the most favourable conditions for the firms.

With a population of over 1.1 billion and high demand with less stringent standards as the EU and US, India offers a gigantic potential market for Vietnamese goods, said the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Vice Chairman Doan Duy Khuong.

Furthermore, the signing of ASEAN- India Free Trade Agreement will offer Vietnamese exporters more chances to foster their exports to the market, he said.

The bilateral relationship, although showing positive results over past years, is still far from the potential and expectations of the two countries.

He encouraged the two business communities to utilise all their advantages and potential to seek new cooperation opportunities to further enhance comprehensive relations between the two nations.

Lack of flow of information for Indian businesses about Vietnam and to Vietnamese businesses on the capabilities of Indian firms is one of the major issues in the bilateral trade ties, said director of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) Unnikrishnan.

The federation plans to organise more business delegations to Vietnam and participate in trade fairs and exhibitions here while inviting Vietnamese firms to come to India in order to encourage increased trade, he said.

The April 5's event also witnessed a memorandum of understanding inked between the VCCI and the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India.

India is now among Vietnam 's top 10 trade partners. Two-way trade reached 644 million USD in the first two months of this year, up 59.5 percent year-on-year./.