Vietnam has assured India that the problems that have blocked Tata Steel’s planned $5-billion integrated steel plant had been “resolved”. Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said this to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a meeting held on Friday, during the East Asia Summit in Hanoi.
The Tata Steel project has been running into repeated difficulties since the firm signed a memorandum of understanding with the Vietnam Steel Corporation in 2007. Repeated signed agreements have been overturned by local Vietnamese authorities and there has been stiff competition from Taiwanese and Chinese firms for the land allotted for the planned 4.5 million tonne steel plant.
In two interventions during the bilateral, Singh told his Vietnamese counterpart that the Tatas were an important corporate entity and reminded him of Hanoi’s previous commitments, say diplomatic and corporate sources. The Vietnamese leader promised that the investment would go through.
New Delhi assumes that such a definite commitment, given at the highest level, will be fulfilled.
An Indian official in Hanoi admitted their fingers were crossed, “Look at Posco’s experience with India. Politics can upset all commitments.”