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Int'l Cooperation

Last updated: Thursday, August 16, 2018

 

Vietnam – India Relations Continuously Growing, Uplifting and Expanding

Posted: Tuesday, January 16, 2018


“On January 7, 1972, our two countries upgraded our consular relations, which started from 1956, to full-fledged Ambassadorial level. Since then, our relations have been continuously growing, uplifting and expanding. Especially, the last 10 years has proved to be the best period of our relationship,’” said Mr Ton Sinh Thanh, Vietnamese Ambassador to India in regards to the milestones and achievements in the relations between Vietnam and India, ahead of the forthcoming visit to India by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to attend the India – ASEAN summit. Huong Ly reports.

Could you please tell us the milestones and achievements in the relations between Vietnam and India in recent years?

The time-honoured friendship between India and Vietnam take their roots in the historical, cultural and economic linkages dated back to the 2nd BC and shared experience of the struggle for national independence during colonial time, in which Vietnam greatly treasures the special solidarity and support from the leaders and people of India.

Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was one of the earliest visitors to Vietnam after Dien Bien Phu victory in 1954. Subsequently, President Ho Chi Minh came to India in 1958. With these 2 visits, Prime Minister Jawarhalal Nehru and President Ho Chi Minh have indeed laid foundation for the relations between Vietnam and India. Official relations began with the establishment of consular offices of Vietnam and India in 1956.

On January 7, 1972, our two countries upgraded our consular relations, which started from 1956, to full-fledged Ambassadorial level. Since then, our relations have been continuously growing, uplifting and expanding. Especially, the last 10 years has proved to be the best period of our relationship. The bonds between Vietnam and India have been nurtured and further fostered by the visits of successive leaders from both sides to each other. The two countries established strategic partnership in 2007 and identified five key pillars of cooperation, namely politics, economy, security-defence, science-technology, and culture-education.

During the visit by Prime Minister Modi to Vietnam in September 2016, our strategic partnership was upgraded to the comprehensive strategic partnership. So far, the two sides have focused on implementing the agreements signed and have made a lot of progress. I believe that the forthcoming visit to India by our Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to attend the India – ASEAN summit 2018 and to be a Chief Guest at Republic Day ceremony will further consolidate our strategic partnership in a more comprehensive and effective manner.

In the near future, what does the Vietnam plan to do to promote investment and trade relations with India?

Bilateral trade between India and Vietnam has seen fast growing over the past 10 years. If trade between the two countries in 2007 stood at about US$1 billion, India is now among the top ten trading partners of Vietnam. The two-way trade between Vietnam and India in 2017 grossed US$7.5 billion, in which Vietnam’s export to India was US$3.7 billion. Major sectors of investment are energy, mineral exploration, agro-processing, sugar manufacturing, agro-chemicals, IT and auto components.

India ranks 17th among 112 countries and territories investing in Vietnam. Specifically, the total new investment of Indian investors in Vietnam in the first 11 months of 2017 reached US$184.01 million. Accumulation of the investment projects of India into Vietnam until November, 2017 is 168 projects, with a total capital of US$756.29 million.

However, economic relations between our two countries remained much below potential. The leaders from both sides have clearly seen this and have decided to make economic cooperation a strategic target. Both sides are determined to reach trade target of US$15 billion by 2020. A Plan of Action was signed between the two Ministries of external Affairs in July 2017, during the visit of Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh to India.

Besides bilateral issues, India and Vietnam also engage closely in regional and global issues, especially ASEAN. What should Vietnam and India do to strengthen the multilateral relationship?

Vietnam and India always have close coordination in international and regional forums. Vietnam fully supports “Act East” policy of India and is willing to be an active bridge for India to develop ties with other members of ASEAN. Being the coordinator for ASEAN in Dialogue Partnership with India from 2015-2018, Vietnam is in a very favourable position to promote further the Strategic Partnership between ASEAN and India.

Vietnam supports India to play a greater role in the world, in the Asia-Pacific region. We welcome India to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council when it is expanded. The two countries also support each other to become non-permanent members of UN Security Council.








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