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Vietnam - India comprehensive strategic partnership deepened

Released at: 09:33, 05/03/2018

Vietnam - India comprehensive strategic partnership deepened

President Tran Dai Quang (L) met with Indian PM Narendra Modi in New Dehli on March 3 (Photo from chinhphu.vn)

Joint statement issued upon conclusion of visit by State President Tran Dai Quang to India from March 2 to 4.

by Long Van

A joint statement from Vietnam and India was issued on March 4 in New Delhi at the conclusion of the State visit to India from March 2-4 by State President Tran Dai Quang and his spouse at the invitation of Indian President Ram Nath Kovind, the Vietnam News Agency reports.

Delegation-level talks between Vietnam and India were held in a warm, cordial and friendly atmosphere, according to the statement, reflecting the significant deepening of bilateral relations and enhanced multidimensional engagement since the successful visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Vietnam in 2016 and the elevation of the relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. After the talks, President Quang and Prime Minister Modi witnessed the exchange of agreements on atomic energy, trade, agriculture and fishery, among others.

The joint statement said that both sides expressed their satisfaction at the excellent state of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and that based on the existing excellent relations, the Vietnamese and Indian leaders agreed to maintain the regular exchange of visits at all levels by political parties, governments, legislative institutions, provinces/states, and the people of both countries. They also agreed to hold the next Joint Committee Meeting this year, led by the foreign ministers of the two countries, in order to review areas of cooperation and the implementation of the Action Plan of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for the period of 2017-2020.

Regarding economic relations between Vietnam and India, the joint statement said:

“Both sides agreed that enhancing strong trade and economic engagement is a strategic objective, a core element of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, and is essential for strengthening bilateral ties. Both leaders expressed satisfaction and commended the significant rise in trade turnover during the last two years. In order to realize the potential to both increase the volume of trade and diversify its composition, they requested relevant ministries and agencies on both sides explore substantive and practical measures to achieve the trade target of $15 billion by 2020, including but not limited to utilizing established mechanisms, strengthening exchanges of trade delegations, business-to-business contacts, and the regular organization of trade fairs and events. Both sides agreed to hold the next Meeting of the Joint Sub-Commission on Trade in Hanoi in 2018 at the earliest.”

“Both sides urged leaders of business and industry in both countries to explore new trade and investment opportunities in identified priority areas of cooperation: hydrocarbons, power generation, renewable energy, energy, conservation, infrastructure, textiles, footwear, pharmaceuticals, machine tools, agriculture and agro-products, tourism, chemicals, ICT, and other service sector industries. The two sides agreed to intensify cooperation to increase productivity and the quantum and content of science and technology in agricultural products.”

“Both sides encouraged greater two-way investment between Vietnam and India. Prime Minister Modi welcomed Vietnamese companies to avail themselves of the favorable investment climate in India under the Make in India program. President Quang welcomed Indian companies to invest in Vietnam and affirmed Vietnam’s commitment to creating favorable conditions and facilitating Indian investments in accordance with Vietnamese laws. He applauded Prime Minister Modi’s efforts in improving India’s ranking in ‘ease of doing business’.”

According to the joint statement, the two sides also agreed that their cooperation in oil and gas exploration, thermal and hydroelectric power, and renewable energy and energy conservation is registering remarkable progress. President Quang welcomed Indian businesses to expand their oil and gas exploration and exploitation activities on land and on the continental shelf and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Vietnam and to this effect suggested that relevant Indian companies file concrete proposals for the blocks offered by the Vietnamese side. Both sides agreed to actively pursue the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on collaboration in oil and gas exploration projects in third countries. The Vietnamese side also welcomed Indian oil and gas companies to avail themselves of opportunities in the midstream and downstream sectors in Vietnam. President Quang welcomed Indian companies to invest in renewable energy and energy conservation projects in Vietnam and thanked India for extending support to Vietnam in building a research reactor for the purpose of the peaceful use of atomic energy.”

The joint statement added that the Vietnamese side took note of a request by the Indian side on actively considering signing the Framework Agreement of the International Solar Alliance, with a view to strengthening cooperation in the renewable energy space.

Both sides agreed on the importance of stronger connectivity between Vietnam and India as well as between ASEAN and India, while the Indian side urged Vietnam to utilize various initiatives of India for CLMV countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam), including the $1 billion line of credit for physical and digital connectivity projects.

“The progress made in regional connectivity endeavors, such as the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway, was noted by the two leaders,” the joint statement said. “The two sides agreed to explore the possibility of extending the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway to Vietnam through Cambodia and Laos.”

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