A Vietnamese delegation led by Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Nguyen Thi Hong, took part in the plenary of the Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam (CLMV) business conclave in New Delhi on October 22.

Themed “Creating new economic opportunities”, the two-day meeting provided a forum for leaders and businesses from CLMV countries to study markets and business and investment opportunities in India as well as for those from India to seek partners in the Southeast Asian nations.

It also offered a chance for the two sides to reveal their potential and discuss cooperation possibilities, especially in infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing and services.

Addressing the event, Hong spoke highly of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)’s initiative in organising the meeting to take advantage of ASEAN-Indian strategic partnership.

She briefed the participants on the investment environment in Vietnam and in Ho Chi Minh City in particular, noting that after more than 20 years of renewal, the country has created a dynamic economic climate with a high growth rate.

She said that HCM City is an economic, cultural, educational and technological centre that plays an important role in the socio-economic development of Vietnam’s southern key economic region.

Thanks to its advantages in location, infrastructure and human resources, the city has become an attractive destination for foreign investors, including those from India , she added.

According to Hong, HCM City now has nearly 4,800 valid foreign invested projects with a total registered capital of 32.62 billion USD. In the first nine months of this year, the city lured 330 new projects valued at over 740 million USD, focusing on processing, manufacturing, science-technology, trade, industry and construction.

By September 2013, Indian businesses had agreed to pour 5.16 million USD into 24 projects in Ho Chi Minh City .

At the meeting, the Vietnamese representative invited the Indian side to join Laos , Cambodia , Thailand and Vietnam in an annual tourism fair “Five nations, One Destination” to be held in Ho Chi Minh City in 2014. The fair aims to diversify joint tourism products between the countries and create conditions for their businesses to expand cooperation.

According to CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee, two-way trade between India and CLMV countries remains much lower than their potential, reaching only 8.53 billion USD in the 2012-2013 period.

Over the past 15 years, Indian businesses have injected over 500 million USD into CLMV countries, mainly in agriculture, forestry, electricity, oil and gas, infrastructure and technology.-VNA