India, Vietnam share economic vision, approach: Kovind

New Delhi/Hanoi, Nov 19 (UNI) President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday said India and Vietnam were not just special friends but also have similar economic vision and approach.

‘Like Vietnam, India too has been focused on reforming its economy, increasing its growth rate, and realising the full potential of its young citizens,’ he said addressing the Vietnam-India business forum.

The President, who is on a visit to Hanoi, invited Vietnamese presence in the Indian growth story, saying ‘Indian growth presents opportunities for two-way engagement in financial services, IT, digital economy, hydrocarbons, defence, renewable energy, mining, healthcare, tourism and civil aviation sectors.’ He also sought Vietnam’s collaboration in the flagship Make In India, Clean India, Start-up India and Digital India programmes and learn from Hanoi in the tourism and urban infrastructure sectors.

Mr Kovind noted that while agricultural products already occupied more than 45 per cent of bilateral trade,India was interested in agro-processing, agro-chemicals, farm machinery, biotechnology and high-tech farming which held immense potential for bilateral cooperation. Indian industry can also learn from Vietnam’s success in crops such as coffee, pepper, cashew, fruits and vegetables, he added.

Referring to the Indian pharmaceuticals industry, which was the third largest in terms of volume and the world’slargest provider of generic drugs, he said they could offer to partner Vietnam in providing quality healthcare, medicines and medical devices for the public health system at an affordable cost. Indian pharmaceutical companies are also looking at domestic production opportunities in Vietnam. There are huge prospects for promoting medical and wellness tourism both ways as well.

With both countries leading players in the textile industry, the President said ‘we must cooperate further to

facilitate integration of value chains. Likewise, there are significant opportunities in the oil and gas, power, infrastructure and renewable energy sectors. In India, we have set a target to reach solar and wind energy generation capacity of 175 Gigawatt by 2022. With their global and cutting edge-expertise and experience, Indian renewable majors are ready to partner Vietnam.”

On Indian IT services, the President said IT services including digital economy and fin-tech sector had much

to offer to Vietnamese growth. We must encourage our start-up sectors and innovation based industry to leverage each other.

The Indian start-up ecosystem ranks third globally. This year has been particularly successful for us, with over 1200 tech-startups taking wings. We must also learn from each other on how to improve productivity, how to approach the Fourth Industrial Revolution, how to promote innovation and entrepreneurship and not the least, how to leverage technology for governance.

Elaborating, he told the delegates that like Vietnam, India too had focused on reforming its economy, increasing its growth rate, and realising the full potential of its young citizens, pointing out that in April-July quarter of this year, the GDP growth of Indian economy was 8.2 per cent, highest among the large economies.

By 2025, he said, ‘India’s GDP is expected to double to US$ 5 trillion from the current US$ 2.5 trillion. With country wide sweep of digital connectivity, transformative economic reforms, favorable demographics and a vibrant start-up ecosystem, India is also expected to be the third largest consumer market by 2025. We have started work to build next-generation infrastructure including 100 Smart cities, 7 high-speed train corridors and nationwide broadband connectivity. Last year alone, we built 10,000 kilometers of national highways – that is an average of 27 kilometers daily!’

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