On July 25, 2023, in New Delhi, India, the program “Promotion program on investment, trade and tourism between India and in Lao Cai – Vietnam” was successfully held. The program is organized by Lao Cai Provincial People’s Committee in collaboration with the Embassy of Vietnam in India, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Indian Importers and Global Trade & Technology COuncil (India) along with some other chambers of commerce and associations of India. Attending the conference on the Vietnamese side were H.E. Mr. Dang Xuan Phong, Member of the Executive Committee of the Party Central Committee, Party Secretary, Head of the Lao Cai Provincial National Assembly Delegation, Mr. Nguyen Thanh Hai, Ambassador of Vietnam to India, Leaders of the People’s Committee, the People’s Council and leaders of the Departments, industry and business associations of Lao Cai province. On the Indian side were Mr. Amarendra Khatua – Former Secretary of External Affairs of India, Mr. Atul Kumar Saxena President, President of the Indian Importers Chambers of Commerce and Industry, representatives of associations and more than 80 Indian businesses.
Speaking at the conference, Mr. Dang Xuan Phong affirmed that the relationship between Vietnam and India has been built and cultivated over generations. The history of Vietnam-India relations dates back to the process of cultural and religious exchanges over 2,000 years ago and was built and nurtured by two great leaders, President Ho Chi Minh and Mahatma Gandhi.
With the spirit of market demand and ready to prepare the best conditions to welcome businesses and investors, especially from India, Lao Cai hopes that the business communities of the two sides can promote their advantages, connect and cooperate for socio-economic construction and development, deepen the cooperation relationship between Lao Cai and localities, businesses and investors of India and India on the basis of good inheritance.
Lao Cai wishes and hopes to soon welcome a wave of Indian investors and businesses, especially large corporations and companies from India taking the leading role in building a pharmaceutical processing industrial park in Lao Cai. Lao Cai commits to always accompany and create favorable conditions for Indian businesses and investors to make successful, sustainable and long-term investments in Lao Cai. The success and prosperity of Indian businesses is the desire of the Lao Cai province government, as well as the common development achievement of both sides.
Ms. Giang Thi Dung – Vice Chairman of Lao Cai Provincial People’s Committee introduced the strengths of the province. Lao Cai is famous for its majestic natural landscape, characteristic climate and unique cultural identity, which has become one of the most attractive tourist destinations of Vietnam. Sa Pa city belonging to Lao Cai has been recognized as a national tourist area by the Prime Minister; Bac Ha and Y Ty are oriented by the Government to become a national tourist area in the future. In 2023, Sa Pa was voted by CN Traveler International Travel Magazine as one of the 50 most beautiful towns in the world. Lao Cai also has strengths in processing industry associated with mining activities, with over 35 types of minerals and 150 mines with large reserves, including many minerals with large reserves of the whole country (Apatite, Iron, Copper and Rare Earth).
Lao Cai is considered as one of the eight key regions of Vietnam for the production of medicinal plants. With about 850 species of medicinal plants out of a total of 3,948 species of plants with medicinal uses, many rare species such as Ginseng Hoang Lien, Binh Voi, Tam That, Tea Tree, Giao Co Lam, That Diep Nhat Flower, Do Trong…, Lao Cai is a treasure trove of medicinal herbs with extremely high medicinal value. These medicinal plants are important ingredients in the production of brand-name drugs, offering great growth potential for the pharmaceutical industry.
In addition, Lao Cai province has applied incentives and investment support mechanisms to attract foreign investment. Investors are entitled to incentives within the framework of the State of Vietnam, including incentives for land rent, corporate income tax, personal income tax, export tax, import tax, labor support, site clearance mechanism, and mechanism for investment projects in the border gate economic zone.
Ms. Giang Thi Dung suggested a number of fields of cooperation and investment that Indian enterprises can participate in and deploy in Lao Cai including: (i) Processing and manufacturing of medicinal herbs: Indian enterprises should research and invest in the field of processing and manufacturing medicinal herbs from the rich and diverse precious medicinal resources of Lao Cai. This helps to take advantage of raw materials and expand export markets. (ii) Tourism cooperation cooperation: Lao Cai has many diverse tourism forms such as spiritual tourism, medical tourism and landscape tourism. Indian businesses can cooperate with partners in Lao Cai to develop unique tours, attracting visitors from both national and international. (ii) High-tech agriculture: Invest in hi-tech agricultural projects to produce clean, high-quality and high-value off-season vegetables that can meet domestic and export demand. (iii) High-tech industry: Cooperate in investing in high-tech industry, deep processing all kinds of copper, iron and yellow phosphorus products.
Ambassador Nguyen Thanh Hai affirmed that the relationship between Vietnam and India is at a period of comprehensive development in all fields, in economy, trade, investment and tourism, which is one of the important and fast-growing pillars in recent years, but it is still not commensurate with the stature of the political, cultural and trust relationship between the two countries and there is still a lot of room and potential for development. According to him, connectivity is one of the most important drivers for the development of trade, tourism and investment between the two countries. By the end of 2023, there will be 60 direct flights per week between Vietnam and India, from major cities of India and Vietnam, creating great opportunities for sectors, especially tourism. Therefore, the trade promotion activities of localities to India, including Lao Cai, are very necessary and meaningful activities. The Vietnamese Embassy in India supports and creates all conditions to support such activities.
Speaking at the conference, delegates from India affirmed that Vietnam in general and Lao Cai in particular are the top destinations for Indian investors and tourists with an open business and investment environment, dynamic economy, friendly people and outstanding natural beauty. A number of ideas were exchanged and decisions were made at the conference such as making Lao Cai a chosen location for filming of Indian Bolihood cinema, an Indian golf tourism destination, cooperation in the mining sector, cooperation in UPI payment in local currencies of the two countries, start-up cooperation, organization of Indian business delegations to Vietnam and Lao Cai.
At the promotion, 6 MOUs were signed between two parties: Between Lao Cai Department of Planning and Investment and Indian Importers Chambers of Commerce and Industry; Between Lao Cai Tourism Association and: Indian Chamber Commerce, Ourbound tour operators Associatin of India, international chamber of media and entertainment industry, STIC Travels; Vietnam Staraniseed Cassia Manufaturing and Exporting Joint Stock Company and the HH global sources.