Economic Development – India and Vietnam

Vietnam has said that it can meet the import requirements of India amounting to 2- 3 million MT. Vietnam was once an importer of rice. Now it is the second largest exporter in the world in terms of volume while India has become an importer of food grains.

Vietnam was nowhere in the list of major coffee exporters a few years ago, but now it is the second largest exporter in the world, far ahead of India.

India was the largest exporter of processed cashew nuts. Vietnam was exporting only raw cashew nuts. Now, Vietnam has overtaken India and become the largest exporter of cashew nuts in the world.

Similarly Vietnam which was not even a member of the International Pepper Community but now has become the largest exporter of pepper and the Pepper Community had to request Vietnam to become a member. India is no longer dominant as a pepper exporter.

India was far ahead of Vietnam in telephone density a few years ago. Now Vietnam has 105 telephones per 100 people. India’s telephone density is only about 50 per 100 people.

The per capita consumption of electricity in India and Vietnam is more or less same, while a few years ago, Vietnam’s electricity consumption was just about 60% of India’s per capita consumption (around 300 units a year in Vietnam against around 500 units in India).

Vietnam’s per capita GDP now is estimated to be around US$ 1000 per year, more or less the same as that of India while a few years ago, India’s per capita income was about 25% higher. (nominal terms)

Vietnam has received and continues to receive economic and technical assistance from India. It is not the technology but the workers’ productivity which is superior in Vietnam compared to India. India needs to enhance its labour productivity if it is not to fall behind other countries in economic growth.

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