The Pahle India Foundation (PIF) hosted a roundtable on “India-Vietnam Co-operation in Emerging Asia” in New Delhi on October 20 in the run up to the forthcoming India visit of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung later this month.
Chief Executive Officer Rajiv Kunar said India’s implementation of its “Look East” policy, combined with Vietnam’s growing engagement with India, was showing first signs of success.
India is now amongst Vietnam’s top 10 trading partners, while Vietnam is an important partner for India in Southeast Asia.
Both countries have cooperated closely at various regional forums, such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the East Asia Summit (EAS) and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), as well as multilateral organisations like the United Nations Organisation (UN) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
To further reinforce bilateral cooperation, Indian President Pranab Mukherjee embarked on a state visit to Vietnam from September 14-17 this year. As a follow-up, the Vietnamese Prime Minister will visit India on October 27-28.
He noted that it was time for the two countries to review the progress made in their relations so far, with the signing of numerous Memoranda of Understanding on cooperation in many fields. Bilateral trade is expected to hit US$15 billion by 2020.
Meanwhile, Deputy Foreign Minister Anil Wadhwa said there was still more potential for cooperation.
He suggested the two countries step up their joint efforts to deepen their relations, which were first established by Indian Prime Minister Jarwalharlal Nerhu and President Ho Chi Minh more than 50 years ago, and promoted to a strategic partnership in 2007.
The diplomat expressed his belief that the upcoming visit by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung would help boost the relationship between the two countries, adding that India was very keen on investing in oil and gas, healthcare, thermal power, and aviation in Vietnam.