A delegation of Kolkata-based industrialists has impressed upon the Vietnamese Government on the need to open a consulate office in Kolkata, given the volume of traffic from here and the North East to Vietnam. Moreover, many Kolkata-based companies have set up joint ventures in Vietnam. The purpose of the delegation was also to explore investment opportunities in mining, steel, carbon black, real estate, herbal medicines and infrastructure finance.

The visit, organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), comprised a delegation of Vishambhar Saran, President, ICC, and Chairman, VISA Group; Sanjiv Goenka, Vice-Chairman, RPG Group, Utsav Parekh, Chairman, SMIFS Capital Markets, and R. K. Sharma, Managing Director, Shree Baidyanath Ayurved Bhawan.

During the visit, the delegation met Nguyen Thien Nhan, Deputy Prime Minister, Vietnam, and expressed its interest in a few areas where the ICC members would like to invest. Phillips Carbon Black, an RPG group company, is in the process of setting up the first hi-tech carbon black plant in Vietnam with a proposed investment of $85 million.

VISA Steel, an affiliate of VISA group, is looking to develop a mine for high purity limestone in Vietnam for export to India and a steel plant. Mr. Ngugen Thein Nhan welcomed these proposals and assured the delegation cooperation from the government.

The chamber requested the Vietnam Government to consider opening a consulate office with visa service facility in Kolkata.

At present, Vietnam has two offices in India — New Delhi and Mumbai. The government also requested ICC to encourage Indian companies to invest in infrastructure projects and assured necessary incentives and support to those companies.

The ICC delegation also met other senior members of the government and about 60 business leaders.

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