Proposal to set up CLMV fund before cabinet soon: Sitharaman

Chennai, Jan 12 (IANS) Union Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said a proposal for setting up a Project Development Fund to boost investments in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) will be submitted to the cabinet soon.

Speaking at the 3rd India-CLMV Business Conclave held at Mamallapuram near here, she said the proposal will reach the union cabinet and get the clearance next month.

The fund is expected to have a corpus of Rs.500 crore and is part of the Act East policy. The idea is to assist Indian companies to set up manufacturing base in the CLMV countries.

“India’s trade with the CLMV countries is over $11,000 million and there is immense potential,” she said.

The tri-lateral highway, connectivity in the North East, port connectivity improvement and the Act East policy are moves in that direction, she said.

According to the minister, India is not just looking at trilateral highways but also at improving the port connectivity.

Sitharaman said India is in talks with Myanmar on developing port connectivity through the Chennai port.

She also stressed that Indian banks should set up branches in CLMV countries.

Cambodian Commerce Minister Sun Chanthol said it is important to network and share best practices and strengthen business ties.

“The trade investment between India and the ASEAN countries is crucial since the CLMV countries cover 32 percent of the ASEAN region and has a huge market for Indian products and with a 165 million strong population,” Chanthol said.

Mynmar’s Deputy Commerce Minister Pwint San said: “Myanmar is trying to improve the trade policies and create attractive and investor-friendly policies. A new foreign investment law has been passed to attract more investors and the mass investment potential lies in the economic partnerships.”

Welcoming India’s economic integration with the CLMV countries, Vietnam’s Deputy Minister,for Industry and Trade Nguyen Cam Tu said India and CLMV need to strengthen economic integration through connectivity, infrastructure, and trade facilitations.

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