|Vietnamese Ambassador to India Phạm Sanh Châu. — VNA/VNS Photo|
NEW DELHI — Việt Nam has been playing an active role in enhancing ASEAN-India relations, Vietnamese Ambassador to India Phạm Sanh Châu told the Vietnam News Agency's resident correspondent in New Delhi.
The Special ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (SAIFMM) is scheduled to take place in New Delhi today (June 16) and tomorrow (June 17) as part of activities marking 30 years of relations between the two sides.
Highlighting the sound connections between India and the 10 ASEAN countries, Châu said ASEAN has relations with many countries, and India is a very important partner.
According to the diplomat, bilateral ties have been growing in all aspects. Economic and trade links have been increasing fast, which can be seen in Việt Nam’s trade with India surging to almost US$13 billion, from about $200 million in 2000.
Furthermore, in security and politics both share many similar viewpoints on international and regional issues, especially the East Sea issue and the Indo-Pacific vision, he said, elaborating that India supports ASEAN’s centrality and both sides attach great importance to the law, and the country wishes to build a region of peace, stability, and development, as well as a free, open, and international law-based Indo-Pacific region.
Most of the ASEAN countries and India advocate peace and justice when it comes to international issues, and have been cooperating closely in science-technology and education.
In connectivity cooperation, especially in air and road transport, Châu expressed hope for a road from New Delhi through northeastern India, Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos to Hà Nội in the future.
Lastly, the people-to-people exchange between ASEAN and India is very high, with the number of visitors to each other’s destinations has been on the rise. The number of Indian people living in Southeast Asia is also increasing, reflecting the close-knit ties between the two sides, he added.
Among ASEAN countries, Việt Nam boasts a traditional friendship with India. While serving as the coordinator of ASEAN-India relations between 2015-2018, Việt Nam held a special ASEAN-India summit and helped lift bilateral relations to a new height.
The two countries share many similar viewpoints on international issues and have shown those viewpoints when both were non-permanent members of the UN Security Council in 2021.
With such stature and an open foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, diversification and multilateralisation of foreign relations, Việt Nam has been playing a highly active role in helping strengthen ASEAN-India relations, Châu stressed.
The ambassador described 2022 as a special year as Việt Nam and India will celebrate the 50th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties, ASEAN and India mark 30 years of their dialogue relations, and India marks its 75th Independence Day.
He underlined the thriving Việt Nam-India partnerships in defence, politics, trade, investment, tourism, and people-to-people exchanges, affirming that 2022 is a very positive year in multiple aspects for both Việt Nam-India and ASEAN-India ties. — VNS