Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh speaks at the meeting. — VNA/VNS Photo Lâm Khánh
HÀ NỘI — Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh and Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Tuesday co-chaired the 17th Meeting of the Joint Commission on Economic, Commercial, Scientific and Technological Cooperation between Việt Nam and India.
The meeting, which took place in the form of a teleconference, reviewed the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership since the 16th edition in August 2018, and put forth measures and orientations for cooperation in the new period, towards the 50th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic ties (January 26, 1972-2022).
Minh said the Việt Nam-India traditional friendship and comprehensive strategic partnership are developing fruitfully, and the mutual political trust has been consolidated through regular visits and meetings at all levels, via Party, State, Government, National Assembly and locality channels, as well as people-to-people exchanges.
He recalled the phone talks between Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in April amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, saying the two sides agreed to intensify their existing cooperation mechanisms, and soon take stock of the implementation of the 2017-20 action programme materialising the comprehensive strategic partnership.
Minh and Jaishankar shared the view that the two countries should continue with their close coordination, and the sharing of information and experience in the pandemic fight, both bilaterally and multilaterally.
The Indian minister lauded the Vietnamese government’s efforts and measures against the pandemic, and briefed Minh on countermeasures adopted by the Indian government.
Minh spoke highly of India’s cooperation in consular affairs and citizen protection efforts.
They reached consensus that defence and security are among the key, effective cooperation areas between the two countries, and highly valued the Việt Nam-India National Defence Policy Dialogue and Security Dialogue.
Việt Nam applauds India’s support and experience exchange in training peace-keeping forces, Minh said.
The Vietnamese diplomat called on the two countries to boost trade and investment ties in the future, and effectively implement outcomes of the fourth meeting of the joint sub-committee on trade that was held in January 2019.
Việt Nam and India should maintain the momentum of trade collaboration in order to bring two-way trade to US$15 billion as soon as possible, and sign a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in trade remedies at an early date, thus bringing practical interests to businesses of both sides, Minh said.
The Indian minister pledged to consider Việt Nam’s proposals regarding the easing and removal of technical barriers imposed on Việt Nam’s exports.
The two sides agreed to call for investments in the areas of India’s strength and Việt Nam’s priority like information-technology, energy, infrastructure, and high-tech agriculture.
Both officials said that Việt Nam and India hold substantial potential for further cooperation in science-technology, energy, culture, and tourism and people-to-people exchanges, and agreed to soon organise a meeting of the working group on healthcare in order to address obstacles in bilateral medical ties.
Minh also appreciated the two sides’ mutual support for each other’s candidacy of multilateral organisations and forums, and thanked India for its assistance to Việt Nam within the Mekong-Ganga River Cooperation framework.
Jaishankar affirmed that India attaches importance to ASEAN’s centrality in the region and praised Việt Nam’s coordinating role in the ASEAN-India relations during the 2015-2018 period.
They stressed the significance of maintaining peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation, and the peaceful settlement of disputes in the East Sea in line with international law, especially the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS).
The two sides announced two important documents signed on this occasion, comprising a memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the Diplomatic Academy of Việt Nam and the Indian Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Service, and another on cooperation between the Việt Nam Institute of Seas and Islands and the Indian National Maritime Foundation. — VNS