Vietnamese, Indian firms discuss trade, investment hinh anh 1Executives of Indian and Vietnamese firms exchange information at the India-Vietnam Business Forum in HCM City on August 21 (Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - Trade and investment ties between Vietnam and India are not commensurate with their potential, meaning there is still a lot of room for them to grow, the India-Vietnam Business Forum heard in Ho Chi Minh City on August 21.

A 12-member delegation from the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) led by Joseph Michael Kallivayalil, which is visiting Vietnam to explore opportunities for economic engagement, investment and trade, took part in the forum.

Vo Tan Thanh, Director of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI)’s HCM City branch, said the event, with the participation of leading Indian players in the field of infrastructure construction, information technology, aviation, renewable energy, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and rubber, is a good opportunity for businesses from the two countries to acquire useful information about trade and investment relations between the two sides, and find business opportunities.

India and Vietnam are both dynamic and rapidly developing economies in Asia, he said, adding trade between the two countries reached 10.69 billion USD last year, a year-on-year increase of 40 percent and they target 15 billion USD by 2020.

Indian Ambassador to Vietnam Pranay Verma said Indian investments in Vietnam are worth around 1.7 billion USD, including investments routed through third countries. They are mostly in energy, mineral exploration, agro-processing, sugar manufacturing, agro-chemicals, IT and auto components.

The Indian government is encouraging Indian companies to invest in Vietnam, he said, adding that Indian has set up a project development fund with a corpus of five billion Indian rupees (80 million USD) for Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam to facilitate Indian investment and broaden the manufacturing base of Indian companies in the region.

Kallivayalil highlighted key areas in which businesses from the two countries could enhance cooperation like education, agriculture, manufacturing, electronics, logistics and construction equipment.

In education, for instance, there is a need to promote tie-ups between universities and academic institutions in the two countries for faculty, research and skill exchanges.

In manufacturing, he said that Vietnam offers tremendous opportunities in the manufacturing sector. India needs to properly understand its investment laws and taxation policies to facilitate investment from India.

There is a need to strengthen logistics services between the two countries. India can also access many products manufactured in third countries from Vietnam at competitive prices and with lesser transportation costs, he added.

The forum was followed by business-to-business meetings to enable a further exchange of information and cooperation opportunities. - VNA