India, VN eye closer collaboration in engineering sector trade, investment

Wednesday, Sep 23, 2020 17:00

Vo Tan Thanh, director of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s HCM City branch speaks at a webinar on September 22 titled ‘Doing Business with Vietnam’. — VNS Photo

Though trade in engineering products between India and Viet Nam has grown significantly, there is still huge untapped potential, according to Indian officials.

Dr Srikar K. Reddy, joint secretary (EP-engineering), in India’s Department of Commerce, said his country has made considerable progress in engineering in the recent past as evidenced by record exports three times in the last five years.

“The brand value of Indian engineering has been rising rapidly in developed as well as emerging economies while the Indian government has always been on its toes to make Indian exports globally competitive and turn India an exporter of high-value engineering products by addressing the technology gap and other concerns adequately and efficiently,” he said while speaking at a webinar on Tuesday titled ‘Doing Business with Vietnam’.

“While there has been impressive growth in engineering trade between India and Viet Nam in the past few years, there is significant potential for bilateral co-operation as the consumption of these products has increased considerably in Viet Nam in recent times and a substantial portion of the consumption is met by imports.

“Moreover, the disruption in supply chains due to the Covid-19 pandemic has shown that it would be better not to be dependent on any one single partner for imports. India would like to become a trusted partner of Viet Nam in the supply of engineering goods.”

Mahesh Desai, chairman of the Engineering Export Promotion Council of India, said, “Engineering forms an important component in Viet Nam-India bilateral trade and it reflects that both countries are laying emphasis on engineering manufacturing to build strong economic foundations and move up the global value chain.”

The countries have been working together in several multilateral forums such as the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, enabling them to look beyond short-term COVID-19 disruptions to utilise each other’s strengths and capacities over the long term, he said.

“At a recent high-level discussion between India and Viet Nam, both countries had agreed to seek close co-operation in emerging areas such as civil nuclear energy, space, marine sciences, and new technologies.”

Pranay Verma, India’s ambassador in Ha Noi, said Viet Nam is an important trade and investment partner for India, but bilateral trade and investment remain low compared to the potential of the two sides meaning there is still a lot of room to enhance them.

“Our cumulative investment in Viet Nam is about US$1.9 billion with investments coming in through third countries as well in areas such as energy, mineral exploration, agro-processing, manufacturing, agro- chemicals, IT and auto-component. In contrast, Vietnamese investment in India is much less at about $28-29 million. We believe that there is scope to ramp it up with India.

“There is an opportunity to look at India as an investment hub for big Vietnamese companies that are looking to expand their footprint overseas. I am sure that the event of today will create more awareness for the opportunities in trade and investment side between the two communities.”

Vo Tan Thanh, director of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s HCM City branch, said bilateral trade between India and Viet Nam has increased significantly in recent years to reach US$11.2 billion last year, of which Viet Nam’s exports accounted for over $6.6 billion.

In the first seven months of this year, despite being adversely affected by the pandemic, two-way trade has topped $5 billion, he said, revealing that they hope to achieve $15 billion a year in the near future.

The webinar, organised by the VCCI and the EEPC, would offer opportunities for businesses in the two countries to exchange ideas, network and take advantage of opportunities for co-operation, he added. — VNS

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