“Chennai is at the epicentre of global economy and particularly the Asian economy connecting the Eastern Asia through South East Asia to India and beyond”, said Ambassador Gautam Mukhopadhaya, Chairman, CII CLMV Task Force & Visiting Fellow, Centre for Policy Research, at the 1st edition of the India – CLMV Reverse Buyer Seller Meet organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) with the theme “Building Economic Integration Through Value Chains” recently.

Ambassador Mukhopadhaya said that the State of Tamil Nadu is very enterprising and industrialized and well connected to the CLMV countries as well as to the rest of the world. This connection provides tremendous growth opportunities in the areas of business, investment and economic relationships.

He also urged Indian entrepreneurs to think of investing in the local products in CLMV countries with special focus on land, water, forest and livestock.

Mr. N. Muruganandam, Principal Secretary to Government, Industries Department, Government of Tamil Nadu, explained the historic trade and cultural linkage that both the regions share. He said that in order to understand the history of Tamil Nadu one also has to study the history of South-East Asia and specially CLMV countries and vice versa. He also highlighted the sectors like real-estate development, tourism, infrastructure and IT and urged the participating nations to explore opportunities in these sectors.

“The relation between India and CLMV countries is a three-way relation where we are all connected emotionally, culturally and through trade”, said Mr. R. Selvam, Executive Director, Council of Leather Exports, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India. He also spoke on how the cultural and emotional ties between India and CLMV countries are strong. In order to further strengthen the relation, he urged to invest in sectors like automobiles and leather in which India has a huge potential.

Mr. T.T. Ashok, Chairman, International Linkage Sub-Committee, CII-SR, and Managing Director, Taylor Rubber Pvt. Ltd., highlighted the policies and programs that India has implemented to improve the business in CLMV regions. He said that India is an investment destination in sectors like automotive, chemicals, electronics, capital goods, metal and mining, pharmaceutical, food processing, and textile and the CLMV countries should collaborate with India in these sectors for better and sustainable economic growth.

Mr. S. Chandramohan, Chairman, CII Tamil Nadu State Council, and Group President – Finance & Investment Strategy, TAFE Ltd., said that as the whole world is moving towards digital economy and considering the fact that India is very strong in digital sector, be it banking, finances, automobile or agriculture he asked the CLMV partners to leverage India’s capabilities to improve their digital growth.

He also mentioned that Tamil Nadu is in the forefront of agriculture, auto components manufacturing and also digital space and these are some areas that the host State and the CLMV countries should look forward for collaboration in terms of trade and investment.