President offers Vietnam Indian expertise on infra projects

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Ho Chi Minh City, Nov 25 (UNI) President Pratibha Devisingh Patil today called for increasing trade and commerce between India and Vietnam and offered the country's expertise in the development of infrastructure, particularly in highways development in Vietnam.

Speaking at a business luncheon meeting, hosted by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry(VCCI) here, Ms Patil asked the Vietnamese government to provide congenial atmosphere for Indian companies for investment and business in Vietnam and suggested to the Indian companies to look at all possible areas Where joint ventures or partnerships can be created.

The President said, '' Both India and Vietnam are currently focusing on infrastructure development. India has, in recent years, achieved commendable success in this area. Some sectors such as the Highway Development Programme has become a model for public-private partnership, which can be usefully replicated in many other developing countries, including Vietnam.'' '' Besides, in areas like engineering, transportation and power generation, Indian companies can transfer their expertise to the Vietnamese,'' she said.

Ms Patil said India could be a useful partner in the field of higher education, research and human resource development and India could learn from Vietnam in the sectors of marine products, processing or agricultural crops like cashew, pepper, coffee and rice in which Vietnam was the major exporting country in the world.

While observing that the conclusion of a sign Trade-in-Goods Agreement would take India-Vietnam economic ties to even greater strength, she noted that India's partnership with Vietnam in Ganga-Mekong Cooperation, the East Asia Summit and similar regional spheres would further strengthen the bilateral ties between the two countries.

She said a large number of Indian companies were exploring investment and trading opportunities in Vietnam in fields as diverse as minerals to pharmaceuticals and the Vietnamese government should provide a congenial atmosphere.

Observing that India and Vietnam had a long tradition of friendship and close ties, unbreakable bonds of genuine trust and mutual goodwill, she said the economic and commercial content in the ties would provide further strength and sustenance to the political ties.

Praising Ho Chi Minh City, which she described as the economic engine of Vietnam, she said the investments by many Indian companies, including ONGC for oil exploration, TATA Steel for setting up an integrated steel plant and ESSAR for setting up a steel rolling mill, were not only good for the partner companies but also for the economic progress of the two countries.

Earlier, welcoming the President, Vice-Chairperson of People's Committee Nguyen Thi Hong and Vietnamese Vice Minister of Trade and Industry Le Duong Quang praised the pace of development in India and sought more investments from India.

Later a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between General-Director Vietnamese Chambers of Commerce of Ho Chi Minh City Vo Ton Thainh and Chairman of Indian Chamber of Commerce Amit Saxena to provide support to businessmen in each other's country.

UNI KAS KK PM1300

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