The Statesman, India
Nguyen ready for FTA with India
Press Trust of India
5 July 2007
MUMBAI, July 5: The Vietnamese government today said it was open to the idea of signing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India.
“We are ready to sign an FTA with India,” Vietnamese Prime Minister, Mr Nguyen Tan Dung, said while delivering the keynote address at a India-Vietnam Business Forum meet here.
Inviting Indian industrialists to invest in Vietnam, Mr Nguyen said his country would prove to be a safe and efficient destination for Indian investors.
Two-way trade between India and Vietnam has increased by 20-30 per cent a year since 2001 and in recent months, major Indian conglomerates such as Essar and the Tata Group have invested in Vietnam.
Though India has now become one of the top 10 countries in terms of investment in Vietnam, there was still a lot of scope for economic relations to be further strengthened, he said.
“Despite these successes, cooperation has not been commensurate with the advantages and potential of the business communities of the two countries,” he said, adding, “we can do more in trade and investment for mutual benefit.”
Another strength of the country was its 85 million strong population which constituted a huge market for investors.
“More than 70 per cent of our population is under 40 years of age,” the Vietnamese Prime Minister said.
The country was registering a high economic growth in the last few years and in 2006, its economy grew by eight per cent, he said, adding that this year too, the growth would be over eight per cent.