Vietnam and India Pledge Greater Economic and Strategic Cooperation

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Nov. 26 – Vietnam’s Party General Secretary Trong led a four-day visit to India last week, which included a series of high-level meetings with government officials aimed at boosting cooperation between the two countries.

During Trong’s meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi, both leaders pledged that they would strive to increase bilateral trade and cooperation between the two nations. Both leaders communicated enthusiasm for the ideas expressed during the 2012 India–Vietnam Friendship Year, which celebrated the 40th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties and the fifth anniversary of their strategic partnership.

Trong and Singh also achieved an agreement on the steps that need to be taken in order to promote cooperation on the “five pillars” of the strategic partnership between the two countries.

These five pillars include:

  • Politics;
  • Economics, trade and investment;
  • National defense and security;
  • Education;
  • Science and technology.

According to a joint press-release issued by the two countries, this agreement will “contribute to peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia Pacific region and beyond.”

Both leaders expressed their determination to implement the agreements made during the 15th meeting of their Joint Committee on Economy, Trade and Science and Technology Cooperation. The Joint Committee had the goal of increasing bilateral trade between the two countries to US$7 billion by 2015, and further to US$15 billion by 2020.

Additionally, cooperation on defense issues and oil and gas exploration were a further area of agreement between the leaders.

Trong next met Indian President Pranab Mukherjee to discuss a variety of issues relating to both countries. The meeting took place in New Delhi at the Indian Presidential Palace. Both leaders agreed that there was great potential for a strong and mutually beneficial relationship to be built between the two countries; however, much work was needed to ensure that this potential was fully realized.

Among the issues discussed was the importance of reaching a bilateral trade turnover of US$7 billion by 2015. This goal would be achieved in part by boosting trade and investment, implementing joint projects in oil exploration and the construction of electricity plants.

Trong also met with Hamid Ansari, India’s Vice President and Senate Chairman, in order to discuss how the two countries could increase cultural exchanges. Additional issues discussed between the two leaders included increased cooperation in South and Southeast Asia as well as in forums such as ASEAN.

Trong then met with Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid. During this meeting, the two officials discussed the mutual benefits arising from the 15th meeting of the Vietnam-India Joint Committee on Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation. Khurshid pushed for a further deepening of economic ties between the two countries by concluding such high-level agreements as the 2013-2015 Program of Action.

According to the joint-press release, eight official documents were signed during Trong’s talks with the Indian officials, including the:

  • Air Service Agreement;
  • MoU on the establishment of the Indira Gandhi Hi-tech Crime Lab in Hanoi;
  • Agreement on the Protection of Classified Information;
  • MoU between the two countries’ Ministries of Finance;
  • Cooperation agreement between Hanoi National University and the Indian Council for Scientific and Industrial Research;
  • MoU on cooperation between the India Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore and the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Public Administration
  • MoU between Vietnam Oil and Gas Group and ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL);
  • MOU between the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and Tata Power Ltd. on the development of the Long Phu 2 Thermal Power Project in Soc Trang province, Vietnam.

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