Important milestone, bright prospect in India-Vietnam relations
India and Vietnam are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their Diplomatic Relations this year. This year also marks the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence, which we celebrate as “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav”. These two landmarks make this year doubly significant for us.
|The 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and India was celebrated in Hanoi on January 6, 2022.|
As modern, independent nations, India and Vietnam have a similar history of struggle for independence from colonial rule. There was mutual admiration between our founding fathers. Nurtured by their vision, India and Vietnam have enjoyed excellent relations since their independence, with a tradition of helping each other during difficult times and supporting each other’s national development.
Today, India - Vietnam relations are characterized as Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. This is demonstrated in wide-ranging collaborations currently taking place between our two countries – from political engagement to economic and development partnership, defence and security cooperation, and cultural and people-to-people contact.
The Joint Vision for Peace, Prosperity and People adopted by our Prime Ministers during their Virtual Summit in December 2020 provides the blueprint for the future development of our bilateral relations. Despite the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have continued to take forward strides in all areas identified in the Joint Vision.
Our political relations continue to be marked by frequent high-level contacts. The telephone call between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in April 2022, the visit of the Chairman of the National Assembly of Vietnam to India in December 2021 and the visit of our Lok Sabha Speaker to Vietnam in April this year have added a new momentum to our political relationship.
As two of the fastest growing economies, economic engagement between India and Vietnam is rapidly growing. From a meagre US$ 200 million in the year 2000, our annual bilateral trade has maintained a positive momentum and, for the first time, crossed the 14 billion USD mark in 2021 despite the difficulties posed by the pandemic. Over the last five years, since the establishment of our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, our bilateral trade has doubled. We are now focused on raising our bilateral trade to 15 billion USD in 2022.
|Ambassador Pranay Verma visited the production plants of some of the Indian enterprises which have invested in Vinh Phuc province on June 2, 2022.|
As India is positioning itself as a driver of the post-COVID pandemic global economic revival and aspiring to become a 5 trillion USD economy, and as Vietnam is focusing on realising the vision of becoming an upper middle income country with modern industry by 2030, there are immense opportunities for us to cooperate.
Our defence partnership is growing rapidly. The visit of our Defence Minister to Vietnam in June this year created new avenues for our defence cooperation. Our militaries have maintained regular contacts, including through frequent exchange of naval ships, bilateral exercises, training programmes and capacity-building initiatives. Our 100 million USD defence Line of Credit to Vietnam has been fully implemented, helping Viet Nam acquire new maritime and defence manufacturing capabilities. Our cooperation in UN Peacekeeping has been further strengthened with exchanges between our peacekeeping troops in South Sudan.Our development partnership with Quick Impact Projects are creating community infrastructure which is benefiting local communities in more than 30 provinces of Vietnam and contributing to Vietnam’s Sustainable Development Goals. We are also collaborating in newer areas such as developmental applications of civil nuclear and space technology.
Our cultural exchanges have achieved new levels through archaeological conservation projects at the iconic heritage site at My Son in Central Vietnam.
|Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and his spouse along with a high-ranking delegation visit My Son Sanctuary in Quang Nam province on November 19, 2018.|
Our people-to-people ties are going to receive a new boost with the resumption of direct flights. We want to significantly step up our tourism exchanges, including by leveraging our shared Buddhist heritage.
It is heartening to see the popularity of yoga across the length and breadth of Vietnam today. This provides a strong cultural and people-to-people connection between Vietnam and India. Yoga connects the cultures and peoples of our countries in modern times in much the same way as Buddhism did two thousand years ago.
Multilaterally, India and Vietnam are closely engaged. India considers Vietnam to be an important pillar of its Act East Policy as well as its Indo-Pacific vision. We have excellent coordination in ASEAN. India and Vietnam concurrently served on the United Nations Security Council as non-permanent members in 2021 and coordinated closely on many global issues.
Looking to the future, we are very optimistic about our relations. There are many common attributes our two countries and societies share, which provide an excellent foundation for sustained future growth of our bilateral relations.
Both our countries are focused on joining the ranks of high-income advanced economies by the time we complete the centenary of our respective independence – 2045 for Vietnam and 2047 for India.
We are both committed to overcoming shared challenges like climate change and poverty to achieve sustainable and inclusive development. We are two countries increasingly driven by the promise of new technologies, innovation, and digitization to deliver economic growth and people’s empowerment.
|Nearly 3,000 people attended a mass yoga performance in response to International Day of Yoga 2022 at 30/10 Square in Ha Long city on June 21, 2022.|
We also have similar views on most regional and international issues, which create natural grounds for our closer cooperation on the regional and international stage. We are both committed to international law and reformed multilateralism. We are both ardent advocates for respect of sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations. And we both believe that India - Vietnam cooperation provides a factor of stability in our shared Indo-Pacific region.
As we celebrate the important milestone of the 50th anniversary of India - Vietnam diplomatic relations, we are confident that our relations are full of even greater promise in the next 50 years.