HCMC – Ruing that the investment from Indian enterprises in Vietnam remains low compared with the potential, ambassador of India to Vietnam Pranay Verma, said that Indian firms want to make long-term investments in Vietnam.
On January 22, the Indian Consulate General in HCMC, the Private Economic Development Research Board, the HCMC Investment and Trade Promotion Center and VinaCapital Group jointly held the India-Vietnam Investment Forum to boost cooperation activities between the two sides, thus contributing to the economic development of the two countries.
Verma said economic ties are important to Vietnam and India. With the forum, India has set a target to seek out long-term investment plans.
India’s investment in Vietnam now stands at US$900 million, which is modest. The two countries have developed a bilateral relationship for a long time but they should seek new areas of cooperation.
Topics discussed at the forum, such as energy, information technology, pharmaceuticals and infrastructure, are those where both side have strengths and potential. Vietnam’s digital economy, in particular, is growing fast, paving the way for the two countries to enhance their long-term cooperation.
Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Duy Dong said 2020 was a tough year for many countries due to the impact of Covid-19. All economic, political and investment attraction activities faced difficulties. Vietnam has striven to develop the economy and combat the pandemic concurrently to make it attractive to investors.
Last year, while the foreign direct investment (FDI) in the global market plunged 40%, Vietnam’s FDI remained positive, with a total registered FDI of over US$28.5 billion, down 25% over 2019. However, the additional investment for expanding operational projects increased 10.6%.
This means that foreign investors are recovering and Vietnam remains an attractive destination for them, Dong added.
Dong said 139 countries and territories have invested over US$384 billion in 33,000 projects in Vietnam. India is the 26th largest investor of Vietnam with 296 projects worth nearly US$900 million, mainly in the processing and manufacturing, renewable energy and mining sectors.
The Vietnamese Government has been improving policies to attract more foreign investment and welcoming Indian enterprises to do business in the country.
Speaking at the forum, HCMC Vice Chairman Le Hoa Binh affirmed the important role of Indian partners to HCMC, saying that the city has many infrastructure, information technology, energy and pharmaceutical projects that need foreign investment.
According to Vietnamese ambassador to India Pham Sanh Chau, India is a large economy, which can provide Vietnam with large credit packages, highly-skilled human resources and modern technologies. However, they have yet to fully understand each other’s business culture.
The Vietnamese Embassy in India has repeatedly held events to seek cooperation opportunities and promote commercial investment. The two sides should take advantage of their direct air routes and an annual increase of 306% in their bilateral trade.
However, experts at the forum agreed that enterprises from the two countries have less information about their markets and enterprises.
Vietnam and India established their strategic partnership in 2007. In 2019, Vietnam spent more than US$4.5 billion on imports from India, surging over 65% from the figure in 2016. In addition, Vietnam’s export revenue from the Indian market tripled during the period from US$2.6 billion to nearly US$6.7 billion.
By Chanh Trung & Minh Tam