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Vietnam and India upgrade relations

Released at: 10:03, 04/09/2016

Vietnam and India upgrade relations

Photo: VGP

Two agree to strengthen ties during Vietnam visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

by Ha Nguyen

Vietnam and India have upgraded their relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership and vowed to increase two-way trade volume to $15 billion by 2020.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said that Vietnam supports India’s “Act East” policy and its greater role in the region and the world, during his meeting with visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 3.

Prime Minister Modi, the first Indian PM to visit Vietnam in 15 years, described Vietnam as an important pillar in India’s “Act East” policy and the expansion of India’s relations with ASEAN.

He added that India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) would continue to implement projects in Vietnam and hopes to receive more support to expand cooperation and investment in the country.

Regarding the East Sea issue, the two sides reiterated their wish and determination to work together to maintain peace, stability, security, freedom and safety of overflight and navigation in the East Sea based on the principles of international law, particularly the 1982 UNCLOS.

They confirmed the importance of fully respecting the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and hoped the involved parties will soon reach a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), according to the joint statement released after talks between the two PMs.

Both sides agreed to effectively implement the Joint Vision Statement on India-Vietnam Defense Relations from May 2015. PM Modi reaffirmed India’s significant interest in promoting defense industry cooperation between the two sides and committed to provide a new line of credit for Vietnam in this area, according to the joint statement.

Both sides welcomed the signing of a contract for Offshore High-Speed Patrol Boats between M/S Larsen & Toubro and Vietnam Border Guards, utilizing a $100 million line of credit for defense procurement extended by India to Vietnam.

PM Modi also announced a grant of $5 million for the construction of an Army Software Park at the Telecommunications University in Nha Trang.

Two-way trade volume between Vietnam and India was reported at $7.8 billion in 2015 and 12 cooperation agreements were signed during the Indian PM’s visit.

PM Modi also sought facilitation from the Vietnamese Government for major Indian investments such as Tata Power’s Long Phu-II 1320MW thermal power project.

He later met Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, where he said that the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries would create new momentum for the development of both sides and the region in general.

He also met with State President Tran Dai Quang and National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.

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