India, Vietnam to work for open, prosperous Indo-Pacific

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang on Saturday discussed ways to enhance cooperation in key areas of defence and trade.

"Trade between India and Vietnam is growing despite global slowdown", said PM Modi while address the joint press briefing. Subsequently, the two side exchanged three MoUs on economic and trade promotion, agriculture, and nuclear cooperation.

"We will also explore possibilities in co-production and transfer of technology in the defence sector", he stated.

He expressed his belief that the Bihar administration and people will continue preserving the attractive values of Buddhism and creating favorable conditions for Vietnamese citizens and Buddhist monks and followers to visit the state.

After the reception ceremony, the Vietnamese President will leave the airport for the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel where he will be staying during his visit, officials said.

The two sides did not sign any agreements in the field of defence cooperation, but are expected to continue to work on fulfilling India's $100 million Credit Line commitment to Vietnam, some of which has been used for procuring Offshore Patrol Vehicles (OPVs), while talks continue on Akash Surface to Air Missile systems (SR-SAMS) and Dhruv advanced light helicopters.

The Congress delegation, which also comprised former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former Union Minister Anand Sharma, met the visiting Vietnamese President, who is on a state visit to India.

Modi said the two sides had extensive dialogue on all aspects of bilateral relationship and noted that Vietnam has played an important role in India's Act East policy framework and its cooperation with the ASEAN bloc.

"After the Vietnamese prime minister's visit in January, the visit by the Vietnamese president reflects the commitment of both the nations to further strengthen the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two countries", Modi said.

Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang on Friday reached New Delhi along with wife Nguyen Thi Hien on a three-day visit to India.

Vietnam is an important partner in Southeast Asia and is now the country coordinator for India with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) regional bloc, a role that will be handed over to Thailand later this year.

  • Rogelio Becker