MCCI organized an Interactive Session with H.E. Ton Sinh Thanh, Ambassador of Vietnam to India on the theme “Bilateral Trade between India and Vietnam: Prospects & Way Ahead” today at the Conference Hall of MCCI. Mr. Sadhan Pande, Hon’ble Minister of Consumer Affairs, Self Help Group & Self Employment, Government of West Bengal was also present and spoke on the occasion.
Mr. Sadhan Pande commented that India had always supported Vietnam in its struggle for independence. Trade between the two countries is growing and faster growth is possible. Indians can conduct business with Vietnam which is now being done by Americans but at lower cost.
Mr. Ton Sinh Thanh stated India is promoting a Look East policy and developing closer business ties with South East Asia. India and in particular West Bengal have good traditional ties with Vietnam.
Vietnam has a GDP of about USD 240 billion and a population of 98 million. Its two way trade stands at USD 425 billion and its exports are robust at over 100 p.c. of GDP. Vietnam is a favourite destination for FDI and cumulative investment stands at USD 323 billion with 25,000 projects. Last year, Vietnam attracted foreign investment of USD 33 billion. In fact, Vietnam is the best destination for foreign investment in South East Asia. 13 million tourists visited Vietnam last year and the country has plans to ramp up this figure to 50 or 60 million each year.
India and Vietnam have a strong political relationship and a strategic partnership with defence cooperation. However, trade between India and Vietnam is less than 1 p.c. of Vietnam’s economy and total Indian investments are only about USD 1 billion. Last year, only 110,000 Indians visited Vietnam while a little over 1 million Indians went to Thailand. In this regard, the Ambassador said that connectivity between the two countries needs to be improved and a direct air service is going to be launched in September 2018 with New Delhi and later may be extended to other cities. He added that business needs to be promoted between the two countries to make the relationship more comprehensive.
Earlier Shri Ramesh Agarwal, Vice President, MCCI in his welcome address spoke about the special bond between the two countries.