27 July, 2021

Pate, Kathi Rolls And Communism

Hanoi and Calcutta add commerce to their shared ideology

Pate, Kathi Rolls And Communism
Dying city"; "hotbed of communism"—the well-worn labels used to describe Calcutta and Hanoi are fast coming unstuck. Just two years ago, a top Vietnamese economic official, Nguyen Hau, observed: "Although Jawaharlal Nehru and Ho Chi Minh were great friends, unfortunately, our good political relations haven't translated into strong economic links."

But much of that is changing. Today, the two communist, ex-colonial (one French, the other British) states are trading central planning and control for economic liberalisation and increasing economic interaction. With their common communist ideology as the base, the two cities have developed much closer business links. According to India's ambassador to Vietnam, S.L. Malik, a clutch of Calcutta-based companies is currently exploring investment opportunities in Vietnam.

These include the Ispat group, which is close to finalising a $27-million deal to produce 30,000 tonnes of galvanised steel near Hanoi; the RPG group is negotiating three projects—managing a 5,000 hectare rubber plantation in south Vietnam,...

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