Indian President Pranab Mukherjee will pay an official visit to Vietnam from September 14-19 during which he is expected to further enhance the Vietnam-India strategic partnership.
|PM Nguyen Tan Dung (R) welcomed Indian Foreign Minister, SushmaSwaraj in Hanoi in August 2014.
Since the establishment of their diplomatic ties in 1972 and a strategic partnership in 2007, Vietnam and India have treasured long-standing relationship through regular visit exchange by senior leaders from both countries.
After taking office in May 2014 Prime Minister Narendra Modi has boosted the 1991 “Look East” policy, considering Vietnam a key pillar in this policy.
The coming visit to Vietnam by President Pranab Mukherjee is to affirm the Indian government’s consistent policy towards the Southeast Asian nation.
Over the past years, bilateral ties have focused on such fields as politics, economic, national defence and security, science-technology, education, and culture. In particular, their economic relations have become a spotlight in the two countries’ comprehensive cooperation.
Vietnamese Ambassador to India Nguyen Thanh Tan forecast that the two-way trade turnover is likely to hit US$8 billion by the end of 2014, much higher than the figure recorded in 2010 (around US$3.4 billion). The two countries are predicted to achieve a trade value of US$10 billion next year and US$15 billion in 2020.
Vietnam has attracted a large number of Indian investors who are pouring nearly US$1 billion in 68 projects, mostly in oil and gas, mining, sugar production, agricultural chemicals, information technology IT), and agricultural processing industries.
Tan said many Vietnamese companies are keeping a close watch on the Indian market, with investment in three large projects of US$23.6 million running well.
In recent years, IT has emerged as an important area of bilateral intellectual-based partnership, in which India has played a key role in helping Vietnam develop capacity building agencies and IT training centres, English language training centres, and business development institutes.
Thanks to India’s assistance, Vietnam has set up an institute for rice research, with a view to securing top place on the global list of biggest rice exporters.
India has granted hundreds of annual scholarships to Vietnamese students under the Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme.
The two countries have already established mechanisms for strategic dialogues at the deputy defence minister level. They have concentrated on fostering national defence ties through naval joint naval exercises to expand cooperation on maritime security.
Vietnam and India have also closely coordinated in ensuring peace and stability in the region, and provided support for each other at regional and international forums, including those in the framework of ASEAN, East Asia Summit (EAS), Mekong- Ganga Cooperation (MGC), and Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).
The Vietnam visit by Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj last month also provided strong impetus for strengthening India’s all-around cooperation with the Southeast Asian nation.
Minister Swaraj emphasised India always gives priority to speeding up relations with Vietnam, especially in economic and trade areas. She proposed the two countries open direct air routes and cooperate in infrastructure construction. The government of India wants to promote its Look East policy and Vietnam plays a great role in this policy, she stated.
As planned, India’s Jet Airways is launching direct flights between New Delhi and Ho Chi Minh City on November 5 to boost bilateral trade and tourism cooperation and realise the set target of raising a two-way trade turnover to US$10 billion in 2015.