Monday, 10/12/2018
Developing Vietnam-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership
7/12/2018 10:16' Send Print
Vietnamese Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong and Indian President Ram Nath Kovind pose for photos. Photo: VNA

During the visit, President Ram Nath Kovind held talks with Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong, met with the Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, and addressed the National Assembly of Vietnam. President Ram Nath Kovind paid floral tribute at President Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and laid a wreath at the Memorial of the Unknown Heroes and Martyrs. He also addressed the Viet Nam-India Business Forum and met with the Indian community and Friends of India in Viet Nam; and visited the City of Da Nang and the Cultural Heritage site of My Son.

The official talks were held in warm, cordial and friendly atmosphere. The two sides reaffirmed the long traditional friendly relations between the two countries, nurtured by successive generations of leaders and peoples of the two countries. Both sides shared the views that the Viet Nam-India relations have been thriving since the establishment of the Strategic Partnership in 2007, and its elevation to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2016.

The two sides shared a common vision on further deepening the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in all areas, and agreed to maintain regular visits at high-level and at all other levels, including governments, parties, legislative institutions, provinces/states and between the peoples of both countries.

Recognizing that bilateral trade has grown significantly over past time, and India has become one of Vietnam's ten largest trading partners, the two sides expressed their confidence that the target trade volume of US$15 billion would be reached. Both sides applauded the signing of the MOU on Economic and Trade Cooperation between the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry (March 2018). They urged the two sides to promptly establish concrete plans to effectively implement the signed agreements in order to promote bilateral trade, including measures for trade promotion.

The two sides agreed to continue promoting bilateral investment, including cooperation projects between Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PVN) and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation of India (ONGC) in oil and gas exploration on land, continental shelf and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Viet Nam, and encouraged the two sides to be more active in identifying models for cooperation, including those involving third country. The Vietnamese side welcomed and agreed to create facilitating conditions for Indian companies to invest into new energy and renewable energy projects in Viet Nam. The Indian side welcomed and agreed to create facilitating conditions for Vietnamese businesses investing in India, particularly in agriculture, agro-processing, marine products and wood products. The two sides stressed the role of enhancing connectivity, and resolved to facilitate Vietjet Air’s direct flight between Ho Chi Minh City and New Delhi.

Viet Nam highly appreciated India’s long-term and continuous support for development projects in various forms such as grants, preferential credit lines, and human resource training in areas of interest of Viet Nam.The two sides agreed to focus on timely implementation of grants-in-aid and preferential credit lines that the Indian Government has pledged to Viet Nam, as well as the annual projects under the Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) Fund for Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam. India reaffirmed the Indian Government’s commitment to provide around 200 annual scholarships to Viet Nam through the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Program (ITEC) and 30 scholarships through the Cultural Exchange Program/General Cultural Scholarship Scheme (CEP/GCSS) Program.

Both sides welcomed the launch of the Swami Vivekananda Center for Indian Culture (April 2017) and the Center for Indian Studies in Ha Noi (September 2014) and the Center for Vietnamese Studies in New Delhi (March 2018). The India side expressed appreciation to Viet Nam for the collaboration in the organization of events celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in 2018 and for the support in organization of the annual International Day of Yoga celebrations.

The two sides reaffirmed that they would continue to support friendship associations and academia and agreed to facilitate the press and media agencies to increase their presence and operations. The two sides agreed on the importance of the reinforcement of people-to-people ties by organising film festivals and advancing tourism cooperation. In this regard, both leaders noted that India-ASEAN Year of Tourism in 2019 would provide opportunities to promote tourism in both countries.

Emphasizing that defence and security cooperation has become an important pillar of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two countries, the two sides acknowledged the successful organization of annual defence cooperation mechanisms, in particular the annual Deputy Ministerial Defence Policy Dialogue, the first Security Dialogue (July 2018). Accordingly, they agreed to effectively implement the Joint Vision Statement on Viet Nam-India Defence Cooperation for the period of 2015-2020. They agreed to step up cooperation in human resources training, and promote collaboration between the Army, Air Force, Naval and Coast Guard of the two countries, as well as cooperation in cyber security and information sharing. Both sides agreed that it is essential to strengthen cooperation in maritime domain including anti-piracy, security of sea lanes, exchange of white shipping.

The two sides shared convergence of views on various regional and international issues of mutual interest, reiterating the importance of the building of a peaceful and prosperous Asia and the Indo-Pacific region, on the basis of respect for national sovereignty and international law as well as freedom of navigation, overflight and unimpeded economic activities. India expressed its appreciation for Viet Nam’s cooperation in successfully hosting of the Third Indian Ocean Conference (August 2018), and stressed the role of both India and Viet Nam in the maintenance and reinforcement of an open, transparent, inclusive and rules-based regional architecture. India highly valued Viet Nam’s contributions as the Country Coordinator for the ASEAN-India relations for the period of 2015-2018, and suggested that the two sides would work together to advance the implementation of the Delhi Declaration of the ASEAN-India Summit in commemorating the 25th anniversary of Dialogue Partnership (January 2018).

Viet Nam reaffirmed its support for India’s "Act East” policy, and highly appreciated India’s support for ASEAN's centrality in the evolving regional architecture. The two sides agreed to continue their close coordination and mutual support at multilateral fora, particularly within the United Nations, reaffirmed mutual support for their respective candidatures as non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - Viet Nam for the term of 2020-2021 and India for the term of 2021-2022.

Expressing concern over the current developments in the East Sea, and reiterating the importance of the maintenance of peace, stability, security and freedom of navigation and over-flight and unimpeded economic activities in the East Sea, the two sides stressed the necessity of full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) as well as the early conclusion of a substantive, effective and binding Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (COC). They emphasized the importance of peaceful settlement of disputes, including the full respect for diplomatic and legal processes, and complete compliance with international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

During the visit of President Ram Nath Kovind, the two sides signed a number of documents including the MOU between the Ministry of Information and Communications of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Ministry of Communications of the Republic of India on cooperation in the field of Communications; the MOU between the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, Ha Noi, Viet Nam and the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India; the MOU on cooperation between the Department of Foreign Affairs of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam and the Indian Business Chamber in Viet Nam (INCHAM); and the Cooperation Agreement between Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Phuong Tra