Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has told a trade and investment forum in India that Vietnam always welcomes and creates the best possible conditions for Indian businesses to invest in the Southeast Asian country.
The Vietnamese government leader made the statement when speaking in front of the representatives of 300 businesses at the Vietnam-India trade and investment forum in New Delhi on Monday, as part of his three-day visit to the South Asian nation starting the same day, the VnExpress Agency reported.
PM Dung revealed that the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and India’s Tata Group are taking final steps for the building of the US$1.8 billion Long Phu 2 thermal power plant in the southern province of Soc Trang, the largest-ever Indian project in Vietnam.
He suggested businesses from both countries make the best use of current bilateral and multilateral mechanisms – including agreements on maritime trade, double taxation avoidance, investment facilitation and protection, and tourism and aviation services – to boost trade and investment.
Vietnam and other ASEAN member states are working to accelerate the birth of an ASEAN Economic Community by late 2015, which would oversee a common market of 600 million people and a gross domestic product value of nearly $2.5 trillion, he said.
PM Dung noted that the Vietnamese and Indian economies are complementary to each other. Accordingly, India may become a supplier of raw materials used in garment, leather and footwear, and mechanical engineering to Vietnam, while the latter can export consumer goods, electronics, agro-fisheries, and wooden furniture to India.
India is now among the top 10 trade partners of Vietnam and the two countries have agreed to increase their trade from $5.24 billion in 2013 to $7 billion in 2015 and $15 billion by 2020, PM Dung said.
By late September 2014, India had 84 projects worth $260 million in Vietnam, he added.
Direct Vietnam-Bodh Gaya air route planned
Earlier on Monday, PM Dung visited the eastern Indian state of Bihar and had talks with Chief Minister of the State Jitan Ram Manjihi.
The two sides discussed measures for stronger cooperation in farming, fishery, food processing, education, and tourism.
Chief Minister Manjihi proposed that a Vietnam-Bihar State business forum be held in the state’s Bodh Gaya City in early 2015 and a direct air route between the Southeast Asian country and the city be set up.
PM Dung agreed to the host’s propositions and invited Chief Minister Manjihi and a local delegation to make a business trip to Vietnam to seek cooperation and investment opportunities.
He expressed his pleasure to visit Bodh Gaya City, a well-known religious site and place of pilgrimage in Bihar.
The Vietnamese premier recommended that India grant visas to Vietnamese citizens at Bodh Gaya International Airport, making it easier for Vietnamese Buddhists and tourists to visit the site.