Monday, March 10, 2008

Vietnam and India get down to business

HCM CITY — Bilateral trade between Viet Nam and India last year reached US$1.5 billion, a huge growth compared with $490 million in 2003, said Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Le Duong Quang on a talk show hosted by the Indian Business Chamber of Commerce (INCHAM) yesterday in HCM City.

The "India – Viet Nam Business Opportunities" talk show was attended by India’s Ambassador Lal Thla Muana, Mohan Kumar of the INCHAM Board of Governors-Investment&Legal, and other officials and businessmen.

In trade with India, Viet Nam has a deficit. To solve this problem, the Government of Viet Nam has asked the Government of India to reduce the imbalance by increasing the export of Vietnamese products to India, Quang said.

Both sides affirmed that they have established a long-standing diplomatic and economic relationship, of which trade ties have been continuously improved.

At present, India is the biggest market for Viet Nam in South Asia.

Quang said Viet Nam is gaining a place in the international arena, adding that the country has become a true partner for many countries and territories in the region and around the world.

Ambassador Lal Thla Muana affirmed Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit to India last July reflected the two countries’ close relationship in both economics and diplomacy.

Mohan Kumar said foreign direct investment from India to Viet Nam was $700 million as of August 2007, creating jobs for 5,000 Vietnamese workers.

Indian investors have been focusing on oil and gas exploration, pharmaceuticals, sugar, fabricated steel and office equipment. — VNS