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Party leader holds talks with Indian PM

Update: November, 22/2013 - 10:31
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meets General Secretary  of the Communist Party of Viet Nam Nguyen Phu Trong in New Delhi.—VNA/VNS Photo Tri Dung

NEW DELHI (VNS) – Vietnam and India will continue to be trustworthy and close friends, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Viet Nam Nguyen Phu Trong said during talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Trong highly valued India 's position and role in the region and the world, affirming that Viet Nam always pays attention to maintaining and developing its traditional friendship and strategic cooperation with India .

In his views, Viet Nam and India share similar values and interests. The consolidation and strengthening of Vietnam-India ties is an objective requirement in the new period that matches interests and aspirations of the two peoples.

Singh affirmed the important significance of the visit in deepening the bilateral strategic partnership after the two nations successfully celebrated the India–Vietnam Friendship Year on the occasion of the 40 th anniversary of their diplomatic ties and the fifth anniversary of their strategic partnership.

They pledged the close coordination in their stance and activities on regional and international forums.

The leaders noted that India and Viet Nam had common objectives of inclusive growth and socio-economic development and affirmed that they shared a common vision to meet the aspirations of the peoples of both countries. They also noted that both countries faced similar challenges posed by global economic recession, the menace of terrorism and other issues confronting the international system. The Prime Minister reaffirmed that Viet Nam was a pillar of India 's Look East Policy, which was supported by the General Secretary. They envisaged a more active role for India in the regional and international arena.

The leaders recalled the great contributions of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and President Ho Chi Minh to the development of India - Viet Nam friendship, which was further nurtured by subsequent generations of leaders and peoples of both countries. They expressed satisfaction that regular consultations at all levels had helped consolidate and expand bilateral ties.

The leaders expressed satisfaction at the success of the "India - Viet Nam Friendship Year" held in 2012 that celebrated the 40th anniversary of establishment of full diplomatic relations and the 5th anniversary of the Strategic Partnership between the two countries. The numerous events organized by both countries raised awareness among the people of both countries about the civilisational linkages between India and Viet Nam and the scope for future collaboration in the contemporary world.

The leaders emphasized that India - Viet Nam relationship was a time tested friendship, characterised by shared interests, mutual trust and multi-dimensional cooperation. In view of the convergence on strategic interests, they agreed to further strengthen and deepen the Strategic Partnership between the two countries. This would contribute to peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia Pacific region and beyond.

Strategic engagement

Visits in recent years by the two countries top leaders reflected the importance attached to the strengthening of bilateral ties by both sides. The leaders decided to reinforce high level political interactions by enhancing the frequency of bilateral visits and meetings on the sidelines of regional and multilateral events.

The leaders welcomed the agreements and the substantive Action Plan adopted at the 15th Joint Commission Meeting in New Delhi in July this year and commended the important contributions made by other existing bilateral mechanisms for consolidating and expanding the relationship.

The leaders welcomed the decision to establish exchange of visits under the Distinguished Visitors Programme between the Ministry of External Affairs of India and the Commission for External Relations of the Communist Party of Viet Nam to strengthen mutual understanding in the fields of governance, public policy, challenges of development and inclusive growth.

They agreed that defence cooperation was a significant pillar of the strategic partnership between the two countries. They welcomed the regular defence dialogue, training, exercises, Navy and Coast Guard ship visits, capacity building, exchange of think tanks and other exchanges between relevant agencies of the two countries in recent years.

The utilization of the Line of Credit in the field of defence would further strengthen defence cooperation. The leaders recommended that both sides continue to work closely on suitable terms and conditions for the Line of Credit of US$100 million in the field of defence to augment the momentum already created. Both sides welcomed the signing and implementation of the Arrangement on Protection of Classified Information between the two countries and the understanding on training of naval and air force personnel of Viet Nam , currently under implementation.

The leaders reiterated their desire and determination to work together to maintain peace, stability, growth and prosperity in Asia . They agreed that freedom of navigation in the East Sea/South China Sea should not be impeded and called the parties concerned to exercise restraint, avoid threat or use of force and resolve disputes through peaceful means in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law, including the UNCLOS. They also welcomed the collective commitment of the concerned parties to abide by and implement the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and to work towards the adoption of a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea on the basis of consensus. They called for cooperation in ensuring security of sea-lanes, maritime security, combating piracy and conducting search and rescue operations.

They noted that cooperation had strengthened on security and law enforcement issues. They welcomed the signing of the Treaty on Transfer of Sentenced Prisoners. They also welcomed the entry into force of the Extradition Treaty signed between the two countries. They instructed relevant departments on both sides to focus on sharing of information and experience in combating organized crime, illicit arms and drug trafficking. They welcomed the signing of the MoU on establishment of the India-Gandhi High-tech Crime Laboratory in Ha Noi and called for early realisation of the project. The Indian side agreed to continue assisting Viet Nam in its efforts at training and capacity building and modernisation efforts of the Vietnamese Police.

The leaders strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and agreed to increase cooperation in the fight against this global scourge. Both sides also agreed to further strengthen cooperation for an early conclusion of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, for which India had presented a draft at the United Nations.

The leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation and coordination to effectively address the challenges posed by non-traditional security threats such as climate change, environmental degradation, energy security, food and water security, HIV/AIDS and avian influenza.

The leaders decided to broaden bilateral cooperation in areas such as space technology, natural resource management and use, disaster management and mitigation, weather forecasting, oceanography, hydrology, meteorology, nanotechnology and civil nuclear cooperation. They instructed relevant authorities on both sides to work towards early completion of the project to establish a satellite tracking, data reception and processing centre in HCM City under India-ASEAN Cooperation and agreed that both sides will explore new areas such as launching of Vietnamese satellites using Indian launch vehicles and assistance in setting up of earth observation centre in Viet Nam.

Economic partnership

The leaders agreed that enhancing the economic partnership was one of the main components of the strategic partnership between the two countries. They welcomed the outcome of the first meeting of the India - Viet Nam Sub-Commission on Trade held in New Delhi earlier this month. They noted with satisfaction the steady growth in bilateral trade, which is on way to meet the target of US$7 billion by 2015. They noted that favourable conditions should be created for further boosting bilateral trade to $15 billion by 2020 and for promoting mutual investments especially in the areas of education, infrastructure, hydrocarbons, power generation, new and renewable energy, agriculture, textiles, information technology, and pharmaceuticals.

They also agreed to work for the early signing and implementation of the India-ASEAN FTA in Services and Investments to build on the momentum created by India-ASEAN FTA in Goods. They also agreed work together for early realisation of RCEP so as to facilitate India's integration into the ASEAN Economic Community.

The Vietnamese side welcomed new investments by Indian companies in oil and gas upstream and downstream projects in Viet Nam . The leaders noted with satisfaction that Viet Nam 's Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) has offered new areas to India for oil and gas exploration.

Both sides welcomed and committed to facilitate the opening of branch offices by their commercial banks in each others' countries, in accordance with the laws of the host country, universally recognized principles of international trade as well as bilateral commitments. They expressed satisfaction with the cooperation between the Ministries of Finance and Customs Departments of the two countries.

The leaders encouraged cooperation between the private sectors of both countries and reaffirmed their support to the Viet Nam -India Business Forum and the activities of the chambers of commerce and industry of both countries. The Vietnamese side also agreed to actively support the "ASEAN - India Business Council".

The leaders welcomed and supported Tata Power to participate as the developer of the 1320 MW Long Phu 2 power project. This would be the largest Indian investment in Viet Nam and would act as a forerunner towards greater investment flows from India .

They decided to strengthen physical connectivity through land, sea & air transport between India and Viet Nam . They welcomed the signing of the Air Services Agreement that would promote cooperation in the civil aviation sector. They welcomed the signing of the bilateral Maritime Shipping Agreement and proposed to initiate discussions, at the official level, on a sub-regional shipping agreement between India and Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Viet Nam.

They highlighted the importance of extension of the road connectivity between India and Viet Nam and welcomed India's suggestion to discuss soft infrastructure requirements to facilitate seamless movement of goods and services across economic corridors and initiation of discussions on an ASEAN-India Transit Transport Agreement (AITTA), to be concluded by the end of 2015.

The leaders highlighted the important contribution of capacity building and development partnership projects such as the establishment of a Viet Nam -India English Language, IT training Centre at the National Defence Academy in Ha Noi, the Vocational Training Centre in HCM City and the operationalisation of the High Performance Computing Facility at Hanoi University of Science and Technology. They also agreed to expedite new projects involving Lines of Credit from India . The Vietnamese side welcomed the establishment of the India-CLMV Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) Fund under which short gestation projects would be undertaken with grant assistance from India, to directly benefit local communities in a visible and immediate manner in areas such as education, health, sanitation and community development.

The leaders noted the strong cooperation in agriculture and related fields and agreed to further deepening of cooperation in research and development in agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture, animal husbandry and dairy. They called for an early convening of the India- Viet Nam conference on Agriculture between the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the Vietnam Academy of Agriculture Sciences (VAAS) and highlighted the immense scope for further collaborations. They welcomed the establishment of a Pangasius breeding farm in India in cooperation with Viet Nam. They agreed to promote information exchange and research in Early Mortality Syndrome in shrimp industry.

The leaders noted with satisfaction the signing of the Programme of Cooperation in Science and Technology for 2013-14. Both sides also welcomed the programme of cooperation between the Ministry of Science and Technology of Vietnam and the Department of Biotechnology of India .

Cultural and people-to-people contacts

The leaders agreed to deepen friendly exchanges, people to people contacts and cooperation in the fields of culture, archaeology, conservation, museology, tourism, public health, sports, education and media. They welcomed early establishment of sister-city relations between Mumbai and HCM City . The Viet Nam side welcomed the decision to open an Indian Culture Centre in Ha Noi to promote exchange of artists and troupes, holding of film festivals, exchanges between the youth and other cultural activities.

The leaders called for early signing of the MoU on Conservation and Restoration of Cham monuments by the Archaeological Survey of India at My Son heritage site in Viet Nam.

The leaders noted with satisfaction outcome of the 2nd meeting of the Joint Working Group on Educational Exchange for cooperation between universities and academia, in particular the proposal for introduction of the Indian Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) curriculum in Vietnamese schools.

Cooperation in regional and international fora

The leaders noted the growing role of both countries in regional affairs and agreed to further strengthen cooperation at regional and international fora, especially in the ASEAN, the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus (ADMM+), the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF), the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the United Nations and the Non-aligned Movement. The leaders highlighted that their cooperation was in keeping with the common desire and determination of both sides to work together for peace, prosperity and stability in the region and the world.

India expressed its appreciation for Viet Nam 's continued support for India 's permanent membership in an expanded UN Security Council. The Indian side reaffirmed its support for Viet Nam's candidature for the United Nations Security Council non-permanent membership for the term 2020-21 and the Vietnamese side expressed reciprocal support for India's candidature for the United Nations Security Council non-permanent membership for a subsequent term. Viet Nam also expressed support for India's membership of the Human Rights Council for the term 2015-17. The Vietnamese side expressed its appreciation for India's support to its application for membership of the International Hydrographic Organization. The Indian side expressed appreciation for Viet Nam's support for its re-election to category-II seat in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council.

The leaders welcomed the signing of a number of bilateral agreements and MoUs during the visit and called on relevant departments to initiate steps for early implementation of these agreements fully. The documents signed during the visit included: Air Service Agreement, MOU for setting up of the Indira Gandhi Hightech Crime Lab in Ha Noi, Agreement on Protection of Classified Information, MoU between two Ministries of Finance, Cooperation Agreement between Hanoi National University and Indian Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, MoU on Cooperation between India Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore and HCM National Academy of Public Administration, MoU between Vietnam Oil and Gas Group and ONGC Videsh Limited(OVL), and MOU between Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade and Tata Power Ltd. on development of Long Phu 2 Thermal Power Project in Soc Trang, Viet Nam.

General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong later extended an invitation to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to visit Viet Nam at a mutually convenient date. The Prime Minister accepted the invitation with pleasure. The dates of the visit will be finalised through diplomatic channels.

The two sides then issued a Joint Statement on the occasion.

Later the same day, PM Manmohan Singh hosted a banquet for General Secretary Trong and the Vietnamese delegation.— VNS

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