|Deputy Prime Minister cum Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj (L)
Deputy Prime Minister cum Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj co-chaired the 16th meeting of the Vietnam-India Joint Committee for Economic, Commercial, Scientific and Technological Cooperation in Hanoi on August 28 with representatives from Vietnamese ministries, sectors and localities in attendance.
The two countries upgraded their relationship to the comprehensive economic partnership in September 2016 and successfully celebrated the 2017 Friendship Year, the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties and 10 years of strategic partnership.
Political trust between the two countries has been constantly consolidated through their senior leaders’ mutual visits. Keeping up this momentum going, the two sides concurred to increase the exchange visits of top Vietnamese and Indian leaders in India at the earliest and regularly maintain reciprocal visits at all levels under the Action Program for 2017 - 2020 to realize the comprehensive strategic partnership.
The two sides consented to intensify India's investment promotion in Vietnam’s priority areas of development such as energy, renewable energy, and high-quality agriculture, and Vietnam's investment in India’s agriculture,farm produce , and aquatic and timber product processing.
They also emphasized continuing their long-term cooperation in the field of oil and gas while seeking cooperation opportunities in third countries.
Binh Minh thanked and highly appreciated India for its continued provision of non-refundable development packages, preferential credit packages as well as tailored training courses for Vietnam. The Indian Foreign Minister said she is pleased to see more and more Vietnamese pursuing their study in technical fields and other sectors in India. The two diplomats also noted that scientific and technological cooperation as well as culture, tourism and people-to-people exchange continue to enjoy strength development.
They also praised the two nations’ close coordination and mutual support at regional and international forums, especially in the United Nations and within the framework of the ASEAN-India partnership and other ASEAN-orientated mechanisms.
Minh welcomed the active role of India and its position in the Indo-Pacific region through its “Act East” policy, while the Indian FM placed a high value on Vietnam’s role as a coordinator for promoting ASEAN-India ties between 2015-2018, saying she is looking forward to Vietnam’s continued cooperation in realizing commitments from the Delhi Declaration (issued at the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in January this year).
The two FMs reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, safety, and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea and voiced their support for the settlement of disputes on the basis of respect for international law without use of force or threat to use force. They also called on concerned parties not to complicate the situation in the area and to effectively enforce the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) towards finalizing the Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea.
On the occasion, representatives from the People’s Committee of Ninh Thuan province and the Embassy of India signed a memorandum of understanding for the implementation of seven projects to give support to the Cham people community in the province.
The next meeting of the Vietnam-India Joint Committee is set to take place in India in 2020.