Viet Nam, India lift strategic ties

Update: September, 16/2014 - 08:52

The nations pledged to intensify their partnership

A ceremony was held yesterday to welcome Indian President Pranab Mukherjee (right) who is making an official State visit to Viet Nam at the invitation of President Truong Tan Sang. — VNA/VNS Photo Thong Nhat

HA NOI (VNS) — President Truong Tan Sang and his Indian counterpart, Pranab Mukherjee, yesterday agreed to intensify the Vietnamese-Indian strategic partnership.

The focus will be on politics, defence, security, economics, science-technology, oil and gas, culture, people-to-people exchanges, and regional and multilateral co-operation.

During their talks, Sang said the visit was of paramount importance for the thriving friendship and long co-operation between the two countries.

He said he was grateful for India 's support during Viet Nam's struggle for independence and ongoing national development.

The Vietnamese leader said he valued India's wide-ranging accomplishments, which he believed would help raise the South Asian country's status in the global arena.

President Mukherjee acknowledged the growth in the countries' friendship, particularly since the establishment of the strategic partnership in 2007.

He said Viet Nam was an important pillar in India's Look East policy and the development of India-ASEAN relations.

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong receives Indian President Pranab Mukherjee in Ha Noi yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Tri Dung

Both sides agreed to promote bilateral co-operation, particularly on the inter-governmental committee, during political consultations and strategic dialogues.

They said they would increase the exchange of delegations at all levels, hold a meeting of the inter-governmental committee in 2015 in Viet Nam, and implement agreements effectively.

They also highlighted the rapid growth in bilateral trade which is expected to hit US$15 billion by 2020.

The leaders spoke highly of cultural and people-to-people connections and applauded the co-ordination between India's Jet Airways and Vietnam Airlines to open an India-Viet Nam direct flight route in November.

They agreed to expand ties at regional and international forums, including co-operation between ASEAN and India, at the East Asia Summit (EAS), Mekong-Ganga Co-operation (MGC), the Non-Aligned Movement, South-South co-operation, and at the United Nations.

The two leaders also agreed on the importance of security, safety and freedom of navigation in the East Sea. They called upon all parties to resolve disputes peacefully in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, implement the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and work towards the adoption of a Code of Conduct in these waters.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (R)  receives Indian President Pranab Mukherjee in Ha Noi. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam

Following the talks, the presidents witnessed the signing of agreements, including one on co-operation and mutual assistance on customs matters, a dollar credit line agreement between the Vietnamese Government and EXIM Bank of India, and an Memorandum of Understanding on pangasius farming in India.

The same day, Presidents Sang and Pranab Mukherjee attended the opening ceremony of a centre for Indian studies under the Viet Nam National Academy of Politics and Public Administration in Ha Noi.

The Indian President met Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong who said Mukherjee's visit to Viet Nam showed the President and the new government of India continued to place importance on developing the strategic partnership with Viet Nam.

Trong said he would like the two countries to continue to expand and strengthen co-operation in all fields, from politics, economics, culture, education, science and technology to people-to-people exchanges.

He suggested the two governments, ministries and localities actively implement the strategic partnership in all fields, particularly with regard to economics, trade, national security, science and technology, and education and training.

On the same day, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung also met Indian President Mukherjee. He said the Vietnamese Government would create favourable conditions for Indian firms to invest in Viet Nam, especially in the oil, gas and electricity sectors, whilst accelerating the launch of a direct air route between the two countries.

He thanked Indian PM Narendra Modi for his invitation, saying that during his upcoming visit to India in October the two prime ministers would continue to discuss measures for boosting bilateral ties in all fields.

National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung (R) meets with Indian President Pranab Mukherjee in Ha Noi yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Thong Nhat

National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung also met President Mukherjee, saying that stronger co-ordination between Viet Nam and India would contribute to peace, security and prosperity in the region.

Mukherjee replied that Indian political parties appreciated the ties with Viet Nam.

Both sides intend to lift bilateral trade to $15 billion by 2020, up from $8 billion today.

They discussed the operations of their respective legislatures and inter-parliamentary co-operation in the region and worldwide.

Chairman Hung asked Mukherjee to convey his invitation to Indian parliamentary leaders to attend the 132nd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union scheduled for March next year in Ha Noi.

The host accepted an invitation from the speaker of India's House of the People to visit India.

Joint communique

Viet Nam and India yesterday issued a joint communique to mark the State visit to Viet Nam by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee.— VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Khang

Viet Nam and India yesterday issued a joint communique to mark the State visit to Viet Nam by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee.

The leaders agreed to strengthen bilateral co-operation on the basis of the Strategic Partnership with the focus on politics, defence, economy, science and technology, culture and people-to-people links, technical co-operation and multilateral and regional cooperation.

They agreed to continue closer interaction under the institutional architecture of the Strategic Partnership, particularly the Joint Commission Meeting, the Foreign Office Consultations and Strategic Dialogue, Security Dialogue and other dialogue mechanisms between the two countries.

The leaders agreed to enhance the economic partnership and strengthen trade and investment linkages between the public and private sectors of both countries, including forging joint ventures.

They also highlighted scope for expansion in ICT, science and technology, space and other areas.

They agreed that cultural exchanges raised awareness among the peoples of both countries about the civilisation links between India and Viet Nam, promoted people-to-people links and provided scope for future collaboration in new areas, including libraries, archives and museums.

The leaders reiterated their determination to work together to maintain peace, stability, growth and prosperity in Asia. — VNS