Themed “Shared Values, Common Destiny”, the summit gives Vietnam and India a chance to bolster their ties and demonstrates the country’s coordinating role in ASEAN-India relations.
ASEAN and India have maintained their sound relationship through ups and downs in history as evidenced by the 25th anniversary of dialogue partnership, the 15th anniversary of Summit-level Partner, and the fifth anniversary of the strategic partnership.
Their relations have comprehensively developed on three pillars, namely politics-security, economics and socio-culture. The two sides have set up 30 high-level dialogue mechanisms.
Over the last 10 years, ASEAN-India trade turnover has increased almost 2.5 times to hit approximately US$76 billion last year. ASEAN is India’s fourth largest trading partner while India is the six biggest trading partner of the regional grouping. India is implementing a US$75-million project development fund (PDF) to support its businesses’ investment in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
In terms of political and security cooperation, India reaffirms ASEAN's centrality in its ‘Act East’ Policy with stronger commitments and more practical actions towards the region and sharing ASEAN stance on building the regional structure based on open, comprehensive and balanced rules.
Regarding the East Sea issue, India backs the freedom of navigation, aviation, and trade and settlement of disputes by peaceful solutions by respecting legal and diplomatic processes in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982). All parties concerned in the East Sea are required to have adherence to the Declaration of the Conduct of the Parties in the East Sea (DOC) as well as their greater efforts to early finalize a framework on the Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea.
Vietnam-India ties have been thriving along the vigorous growth of ASEAN-India relations after their bilateral ties were upgraded to a comprehensive strategic partnership in September 2016. The two countries have so far convened 15 annual meetings and political consultations, creating mutual trust and deepening mutual understanding.
India is among the top ten trading partners of Vietnam with an estimated value of US$7.5 billion last year. By the end of November 2017, Indian businesses's registered investment capital rose to US$756 million in Vietnam.
The two countries have closely coordinated and offered mutual support at multilateral forums, especially within the framework of the United Nations. As a coordinator in the ASEAN-India relations in the 2015-2018 period, Vietnam has advocated India’s implementation of the “Act East” policy, regional connectivity initiatives, the development of the Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) region and the Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC).
In the fine context, the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit is viewed as an opportune occasion for Vietnam to maintain good relations with India, and further demonstrate its active coordinating role in ASEAN-India ties as a contribution to promoting stability and prosperity in the region.