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Direct Flights Help Bring India-Vietnam Closer, Expands Business: Indian Envoy

There are sizeable Indian investments in Vietnam, however lack of direct connectivity has always kept this engagement from reaching its potential.

Photo Credit : AP

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After a long wait, a direct flight service from India to Vietnam has been started. Budget airline IndiGo started its direct flight from Kolkata to Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi city on October 18.

"Connectivity is one of the basic requirements for regional integration India's Act East policy which seeks closer engagement with South East, and East Asia is premised on enhanced connectivity to bring our societies, businesses and people closer together given the geographical proximity as well as growing engagement between India and Vietnam. A direct flight between the two countries has been long overdue. It helps to expand Tourism and Trade-Business (TTB). I complement IndiGo for taking this initiative," Indian Envoy to Vietnam, Pranay Verma told ANI.

Vietnam is the fourth largest trading partner of India in the ASEAN region. There are sizeable Indian investments in Vietnam, however lack of direct connectivity has always kept this engagement from reaching its potential. India is hopeful that direct and convenient connections will encourage businesses on both sides to work on their complementarities and push the level of economic ties.

"We have currently trading business with Vietnam of 14 billion dollars. We are expecting 15 billion dollars by next year. There is a more billion dollar investment between India in Vietnam. I hope this direct connectivity flights will get businessman together. India has greatest strength in IT sector, similarly renewable energy, food processing - these are the area which India have strong capabilities and currently Vietnam is looking for more investment. There are many opportunities (for) Indian businesses in Vietnam, I would say in trade there are many communities both export and import machinery to and from Vietnam are looking for integrated economy in terms of what work for them significant opportunities for India and Vietnam," Verma said.

There is great mutual interest among the people of India and Vietnam, however the current annual tourist traffic of about 1,60,000 between the two countries is not really up to the mark for example there are millions of Buddhist believers in Vietnam, who have a natural interest in visiting world renowned Buddhist sites in India such as Bodhgaya and Sarnath. It is expected that the convenience that direct flight offer will catalyst this interest into actual visits by people of both sides.

In general, India is promoting tourism between India and ASEAN countries. India had organised road show for tourism in January and August in Vietnam.

"I think lack of connection is an impediment. I am glad that new flights will launch and attract tourists between two countries and media people will look tourism opportunity for the coverage. I would imagine so as tourism people will be more aware and take advantage of shooting films in terms of their hosting film industry and promote tourism and infrastructure. I am sure that our film industry will be looking for new location and opportunity to shoot films. I believe that it has mutually promote tourism also and in past we had experience how film location in a particular country have actually led to significant optic in tourism from India to other countries. Holland comes in my mind after one of the songs from 'Silsila' was shot there. I hope Bollywood industry takes note of the opportunity existing in Vietnam for shooting films." Verma added. 

(ANI)


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