Tata Group set to focus on Vietnam, Myanmar

MUMBAI: At least seven companies of India’s oldest conglomerate, Tata Sons, have zeroed in on Vietnam and Myanmar as markets that need to be penetrated into. Growing economies and an expanding middle class, as well as pacts with global powers and tax incentives have made these countries important for firms that seek to reach out further into the Asean and global markets.

“The demographics and the economic development stage of these countries represent a market for several products and services from the Tata Group,” a Tata Sons spokesperson said.

“Tata companies such as Tata Power, Tata Projects, Tata Chemicals, Titan, Tata Motors, Rallis (and) Tata International, among others, are either active or are exploring opportunities in the Vietnam and Myanmar markets,” the spokesperson said in an e-mail, responding to ET’s queries. For the business house, Singapore is the nodal country for its Asean markets that include more than 660 million people with a $2-trillion economy. Asean members include Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

“The region has recorded more than 5% GDP growth on average since the year 2000 and, when combined, Asean nations would represent the world’s seventh-largest economy. The region, is therefore, regarded by many as the third pillar of economic growth within Asia, after China and India,” said Shashank Tripathi, partner and strategy leader at PwC. In an interview to its quarterly in-house magazine, Tata Group resident director for the Asean region KV Rao said: “From a group perspective, we have identified two focus markets: Vietnam and Myanmar.”

The group has a memorandum of understanding each in the two countries for power projects. “We are now working on deepening the engagement with these markets from a strategic and operational point of view,” he added.

The Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement, signed in Brussels on December 2 after nearly three years with 14 rounds of negotiation, will remove nearly all tariffs between the Southeast Asian country and the EU once implemented by 2018. The country becoming a global trade partner for the US, EU and China in exports makes it important for Indian firms.

While recent years have been a bit sluggish for many Asean countries affected by global economic conditions, Vietnam was among the few to record robust GDP growth — 6.0% in 2014. Recently released government figures further estimate 6.7% growth in 2015, its highest since 2007, due to a significant increase in industrial production and a strong push by the government to improve the business environment.


Source: Economic Times

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