New Delhi: The commerce ministry will soon seek the cabinet’s nod for `500 crore project development fund to start investments in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV).
“We already have the approval of the programme. We are taking it very shortly to the cabinet and I hope that in a matter of weeks, we will have the approval of the cabinet to initiate the work in the CLMV region,” commerce secretary Rita Teaotia said here at a function.
She was speaking at the launch of the commerce ministry’s report on “India’s Strategy for Economic Integration with CLMV”, prepared by think tank Research and Information System for Developing Countries.
In the budget, finance minister Arun Jaitley had said the ‘Act East’ policy of the government endeavours to cultivate extensive economic and strategic relations in South-East Asia.
“In order to catalyse investments from the Indian private sector in this region, a project development company, through separate special purpose vehicles (SPVs), will set up manufacturing hubs in CMLV countries,” Jaitley had said.
The SPVs would help domestic firms set up projects in CLMV countries. India is focusing on these four countries as they are one of the fastest growing economies in the region and holds huge potential for investments.
These nations have been transiting from central planning to the market economy. Teaotia said that these nations have huge potential for Indian investors.
Issues like inadequate connectivity, telecommunication and banking facilities needs to be addressed by India and CLMV regions, she said.
Speaking at the occasion, joint secretary in the commerce ministry Ravi Capoor said Indian companies can set up textile units in Vietnam through which Indian products can get access to markets of developed member countries, including the US and Canada.
Vietnam is part of a major trade deal. India’s exports to CLMV countries grew 38% to $6.4 billion in 2013-14, while imports from the region increased 4.2% to $4 billion during the same year.
The CLMV countries cover about 32% of the geographical area of the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) region and accounts for about 9% of Asean’s GDP.
Asean includes Vietnam, Laos, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and the Philippines.