President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday called for more cooperation between India and Vietnam in the areas of agriculture, pharmaceuticals, textiles and IT.
“Agriculture has been a key sector of our cooperation involving trade, investment and training,” Kovind said while addressing the Vietnam-India Business Forum here.
“We feel privileged to have supported the Vietnamese agricultural revolution through the establishment of Cuu Long Rice Research Institute,” he said.
Stating that Vietnam is a huge agricultural economy with agro-marine-forestry exports surpassing $35 billion last year, Kovind said that agricultural products already occupy over 45 per cent of India-Vietnam bilateral trade.
“Agro-processing, agro-chemicals, farm machinery, bio-technology and high-tech farming hold immense potential for bilateral cooperation,” he said.
“Indian industry can also learn from Vietnam’s success in crops such as coffee, pepper, cashew, fruits and vegetables.”
The President also said that the Indian pharmaceuticals industry, the third largest in terms of volume and the world’s largest provider of generic drugs, can partner Vietnam in providing quality health-care, 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,” Kovind said.
He pointed out that both India and Vietnam are leading players in the textile industry.
“We must cooperate further to facilitate integration of value chains,” Kovind said.
He also highlighted significant opportunities between the two sides in the oil and gas, power, infrastructure and renewable energy sectors.
Stating that the Indian IT services, including digital economy and fin-tech sector have much to offer to Vietnamese growth, Kovind said start-up sectors and innovation based industry must be encouraged to leverage each other.
“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,” he stated.
Vietnam is a key partner country of India in Southeast Asia and served as New Delhi’s coordinator country with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) regional bloc till July this year
India and Vietnam have set a bilateral trade target of $15 billion by 2020.
Later, Kovind also addressed an Indian community reception during which he invited members of the community to attend next year’s Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the External Affairs Ministry-organised conclave of the Indian diaspora.