Cementing Vietnam-India long-standing friendship, comprehensive strategic partnership

Friday, 2018-03-02 10:59:35
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NDO - President Tran Dai Quang’s visit to India from March 2-4, at the invitation of his Indian counterpart Ram Nath Kovind, comes at a time when the long-standing friendship and multi-faceted relationship of cooperation between the two countries continues to bear broad and sweeping developments.

The relationship has become ever stronger since the two countries established a strategic partnership in 2007, upgrading it to a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2016.

Located in South Asia, India has a total land area of nearly 3.3 million square kilometres and is rich in natural resources, possessing the world’s fourth largest coal deposits. Its population is estimated at more than 1.3 billion, of which 80.5% are Hindus and 13.4% are Muslims.

After winning the general election in 2014, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has carried out the policies pledged to its voters, ensuring security and political stability. The Indian government has actively implemented many initiatives to promote strong growth and enhance the role India serves in the region and around the world.

Over the past 46 years, the Vietnam-India time-honoured friendship and multi-faceted cooperation relationship, whose foundation was laid by President Ho Chi Minh and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, has been continuously nurtured and strengthened by both countries’ successive generations of leaders and people.

India actively supported Vietnam’s struggle for national independence and reunification in the past and continues to support Vietnam’s economic development today.

The Vietnam-India relationship was lifted to a new height when the two countries established a strategic partnership in 2007. In September 2016, the bilateral relationship was raised to the status of a comprehensive strategic partnership, reflecting the expanding, trustworthy, and effective Vietnam-India relationship, especially as the two countries celebrated the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties and the 10th anniversary of their strategic partnership in 2017.

We are pleased to witness the strong growth of Vietnam-India cooperation in all aspects from politics, defence and security to business, culture, education, technology, and energy.

The political relationship between the two countries has become more and more intimate and trustworthy, as evidenced by frequent delegation exchanges held between the two sides and the expanding relations between the Communist Party of Vietnam and India’s political parties. Cooperation mechanisms such as the Vietnam-India Intergovernmental Committee on Science, Technology, Culture, and Education and political consultations between the two foreign ministries are maintained in an effective manner.

Economic and trade cooperation has also seen positive developments, with two-way trade on the increase since 2007. India is currently one of the ten largest trading partners of Vietnam, with bilateral trade growing by an annual average of 16% during the 2008-2013 period. The value of bilateral trade for 2017 was estimated at US$7.5 billion, up 37.7% from 2016. India ranks 28th among 126 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, with US$756 million in 168 projects as of November 2017.

Security and defence cooperation continues to see fine developments. Partnerships in other areas such as finance, credit, oil, science, and technology are also making progress. Cooperation is also being promoted on education, culture, sports, tourism, and people-to-people to exchanges.

Vietnam and India coordinate closely and provide mutual support on many regional and international issues; working together effectively at multilateral forums. As the coordinating country for the ASEAN-India relationship during the 2015-2018 period, Vietnam supports India’s “Act East” policy and regional connection initiatives.

President Tran Dai Quang’s state visit to India is expected to consolidate the trust between the two countries’ high-ranking leaders, helping to cement the time-honoured friendship and comprehensive strategic partnership on both bilateral and multilateral grounds, for the interests of each country’s people, and for the peace, stability, cooperation, and development of the region and the world at large.