Vietnam, India see extensive room for trade-investment cooperation: forum hinh anh 1National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue witnesses the exchange of cooperation deals between Vietnamese and Indian businesses at the event (Photo: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) – Vietnam and India have plenty of room for expanding their cooperation in both trade and investment, especially in the fields of digital, supporting industries, e-commerce, retail, and agricultural production, said participants at the 2nd Vietnam - India business forum held in Ho Chi Minh City on March 17.

The event was co-organised by the Indian Consulate General to the city, the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), and the municipal Investment and Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC).

Pranay Verma, Indian Ambassador to Vietnam, said economic and trade ties are important pillars of the two countries’ comprehensive strategic partnership.

Vietnam-India bilateral trade increased rapidly from 200 million USD in 2000 to more than 13 billion USD in 2021 and the two countries are aiming for 15 billion USD this year. As of February 2022, India ranked 25th out of 140 countries and territories investing in Vietnam with 315 valid projects worth more than 918 million USD, mostly in the processing industry, manufacturing, electricity production and distribution, and mining. On the other hand, Vietnam had nine investment projects, mainly wholesale and retail ones, in India, whose total value exceeded 6 million USD.

Bilateral trade and investment ties in the past time, however, are yet to commensurate with the nations’ potential, the ambassador noted, adding that the current period, when both India and Vietnam are emerging from the shadow of COVID-19 and focusing on a rapid economic recovery, is the perfect time to work on promoting their cooperation toward better effectiveness.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused supply chain disruptions, but it has also pushed countries and businesses to interact more with each other via technology applications, and that's where new business opportunities emerge, Verma said.

Policy similarities and the spirit of self-reliance of the two peoples are a solid basis for the countries to tap the potential for cooperation in trade and investment, said Verma.

Agreeing with the diplomat, Vo Van Hoan, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, said bothVietnam and India are receiving large amounts of foreign investment, opening up opportunities for them to enter the post-pandemic economic recovery period.

Sumita Dawra, head of the Indian Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) said India has strengths in IT, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, and experience in the production of iron and steel, footwear and cotton yarn. These fields are suitable for Vietnamese businesses to seek partnership to develop domestic production and integrate deeper in the global supply chain.

Extensive room remains for their joint works regarding investment and trade in agricultural products as well as for mutual support in processing technology, she added.

ICC Director General Rajeev Singh said Indian businesses are increasingly interested in collaborating with Vietnamese businesses.

In the coming time, in addition to promoting the implementation of large-scale investment projects, the ICC will work  to enhance connectivity between Vietnamese and India SMEs to maximize the potential and strength of each side, he said./.