President Tran Dai Quang made the statement while addressing the India-Vietnam Business Forum in New Delhi on March 3 as part of his ongoing State visit to India from March 2-4.
Jointly organised by Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Associated Chambers of Commerce of India, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and the Confederation of Indian Industry, the forum drew over 300 businesses operating in such fields as energy, infrastructure, information-technology and communication, pharmaceuticals, health care, development research, and hi-tech agriculture.
President Quang stated that Vietnam has become a dynamic economy with rapid and stable development after over three decades of implementing the “Doi Moi” (reform) and international integration policies. The Southeast Asian country has been evaluated as a safe and attractive investment destination in the region and around the world, he noted.
Vietnam’s consumer market is growing fast given its population nears 100 million and the middle class is on the rise, he said.
In 2017, the local economy expanded by 6.81 percent with the average per capita gross domestic product (GDP) reaching nearly 2,400 USD. Vietnam targets 6.5 percent – 7 percent in economic growth in the coming years. The per capita GDP is estimated at 3,200 USD – 3,500 USD. The economy will be worth about 350 billion USD, he told the participants.
"Vietnam will do to create a favourable and healthy business environment according to international standards regarding instituions, infrastructure, financial system, education reform, and human resources development as well as change the growth model, develop the intellectual-based economy, especially in such hi-tech sectors as agriculture, support industry, marine economy, and tourism, the President said.
He went on to say that the increasing attentions from Indian businesses, including major groups, will soon turn India into one of the biggest trade partners of Vietnam in the future.
Particularly, the “Make in India” economic development programme initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will create more opportunities and make it easier for Vietnamese businesses to pour investment in India, President Quang added.
He hailed TATA Group - a global enterprise headquartered in India - for implementing a thermal power project worth nearly 2 billion USD in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang.
This will be India's largest investment project in Vietnam, demonstrating the growing interest of the Indian business community in the Vietnamese market, he said.
Furthermore, two-way trade has been increasing steadily over the years, especially since the signing of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement in 2009.
India is running 176 investment projects in Vietnam with a total registered capital of over 814 million USD, ranking 28th out of the 126 countries and territories investing in Vietnam.
“The cooperative relations between Vietnam and India have been strongly reinforced and developed. India always considers Vietnam a pillar and an important partner in its ‘Act East’ policy, while Vietnam also places a premium on promoting comprehensive cooperation with India, especially with the Indian business community, in the process of economic restructuring and innovation of the growth model for sustainable and inclusive growth,” he noted.
President Quang affirmed the two countries' strong determination to achieve two-way trade of 15 billion USD by 2020.
"Vietnam hopes India will become a leading material supplier of apparel, footwear and machinery building industries as well as make it easier for Vietnamese goods such as agri-products, seafood, timber products and footwear to penetrate into the market," the President stressed.
Vietnam is keen to promote bilateral tourism cooperation, especially spiritual and cultural tourism, he added.
"There are huge opportunities for both countries to develop their comprehensive strategic partnership. The bright future of Vietnam-India relationship depends much on the dynamism and determination of the two countries’ business communities and peoples," President Quang said.
He hoped Vietnamese and India entrepreneurs will continue playing a crucial role as a pioneering force in promoting the bialteral comprehensive strategic partnership in trade, investment and economy.
At the business forum, President Quang witnessed a ceremony to launch the direct air route between Vietnam and India. The first direct air route, run by Vietjet Air, will connect Ho Chi Minh City with New Delhi with fours flights a week.
From the "Joint Declaration on Comprehensive Cooperation Framework for the Twenty-first Century" in 2003 to the formal establishment of the Strategic Partnership in 2007 and most recently the eleviation of the ties to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2016, the relationship between Vietnam and India has been growing strongly across pillars of politics, economics, defense-security, science-technology and culture- society.
India is now one of the 10 leading trade partners of Vietnam while Vietnam is the fourth biggest trade partner of India in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).