New Delhi: President India, Vietnam Mark Fifth Anniversary Of Their Strategic Partnership on Sunday met a parliamentary delegation from Vietnam, led by Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue of Vietnam’s National Assembly, marking the fifth anniversary of the two nations’ comprehensive strategic partnership. The two countries are also completing 50 years of their diplomatic relations.
“Our people cherish the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi and President Ho Chi Minh. Today, our bilateral Comprehensive Strategic Partnership covers a wide range of areas – from political engagement to trade and investment ties, energy cooperation, development partnership, defense and security cooperation and people-to-people relations,” a statement by Rashtrapati Bhavan said.
Welcoming the delegation to India, the President said that India and Vietnam enjoy excellent relations at the leadership level in the contemporary time.
Recalling his visit to Vietnam in 2018, the President said that he himself witnessed the rich cultural heritage of Vietnam and ancient civilizational exchanges between two countries, including our strong Buddhist connections.
The President noted that economic engagement between India and Vietnam has maintained a positive direction, despite the disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He was also happy to note that the defense partnership between India and Vietnam has been growing steadily. He said that strong defense cooperation between the two countries would contribute to peace, security, and prosperity in the region.
The President mentioned that the coordinated efforts of the two countries at the United Nations and other international organizations have “given voice to the majority of developing countries.”
“India and Vietnam have been working with ASEAN to contribute to free, open, peaceful, prosperous, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific region governed by international law,’’ he added.
The Vietnamese leader appreciated the historical ties and linkages the two countries enjoyed with respect to Buddhism being a key in cultural ties.
Later, Minister of State for Culture and External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi met with Vietnamese tourism minister Nguyen Van Hun. Lekhi presented a book “Cham Sculptures from Vietnam and their Interface with the Indian Art’’ to the Vietnamese minister. The book was a culmination of the collaboration between the Vietnamese and Indian scholars.
New Delhi and Hanoi also have collaborated multi-dimensionally in disaster management, development, and trade. The bilateral trade in 2020-2021 was about USD $ 11.2 billion where imports from Vietnam were USD $ 6.12 billion and exports from India were USD$ 4.99 billion, which was down by 22 per cent due to the Covid pandemic, impacting the flow of goods and services.
In order to maintain equilibrium along with empathizing ASEAN’s centrality, Vietnam is seen as a key stakeholder with a convergent viewpoint on the Chinese threat where frequent dialogues make it a basis for like-minded countries to get together and jointly combat global threats.
The two countries are aiming to ensure a free and inclusive Indo-Pacific where the ties have grown ever since the partnership came into being in 2016.