Indian legislative leader’s visit an important point in bilateral partnership

Speaker of the Indian Lok Sabha (the lower house) Om Birla’s ongoing three-day visit to Viet Nam is marking an important point in the Viet Nam - India comprehensive strategic partnership as the two countries are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic ties (January 7, 1972 - 2022).
Indian legislative leader’s visit an important point in bilateral partnership
Indian legislative leader’s visit an important point in bilateral partnership. (Photo: VOV)

Om Birla is making an official visit to Vietnam from April 19-21 at the invitation of National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue, his first visit to the country since he took office in June 2019.

Political contacts have strengthened as reflected in several high-level visits by leaders from both sites.

In December 2016, top legislator Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan paid an official visit to India during which the Vietnamese NA and the Indian Lok Sabha signed an agreement, setting the scene for expanding cooperation. Other visits from Viet Nam consist of those by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh in July 2017, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc in January 2018 on the occasion of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit, State President Tran Dai Quang in March 2018, and Vice State President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh in February 2020.

Last December, Vietnamese NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue visited India, the first high-level one between the two countries after two years of disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The visit wrapped up in a high note, contributing to deepening the bilateral ties in all areas for the benefit of both peoples.

Visits from India comprise those by PM Narendra Modi in September 2016, President Ram Nath Kovind in November 2018, and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu in May 2019.

Viet Nam and India have seen growing ties between their legislative bodies over the past several years, dedicating to bolstering the long-standing friendship between the two nations and their comprehensive strategic partnership established in September 2016.

The two legislatures have maintained regular delegation exchanges as well as meetings, both in-person and virtually. Their cooperation has focused on supervising the implementation of the 2016 agreement, exchanging publications on legal systems and related issues to strengthen information sharing and mutual understanding, and exchanging views on global and regional issues of mutual concern.

On April 15, Vietnamese Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong held phone talks with Indian PM Narendra Modi, during which both sides expressed their delight at the robust development of the comprehensive strategic partnership over the years and highly spoke of the mutual assistance they have provided for each other to respond to Covid-19.

The two leaders agreed to further heighten political trust, increase high-level delegation exchanges, and enhance cooperation between the Communist Party of Viet Nam and Indian political parties, particularly the ruling Indian People’s Party.

Bilateral trade rose by 16 percent in average from 2018 - 2013. India is now one of Vietnam’s top 10 trade partners, with the two-way trade reaching 9.67 billion USD in 2020 and 13.21 billion USD last year.

By the end of 2021, India had invested more than 910 million USD in 313 projects in Viet Nam, mostly in the fields of energy; mining; agricultural processing; production of sugar, tea and coffee; agricultural chemistry; information and technology; and auto parts.

Indian tourist arrivals to Viet Nam grew at an annual rate of 25 percent in recent years, from about 85,000 in 2016 to nearly 170,000 in 2019. In October 2019, Viet Nam and India’s airlines launched direct flights between their six cities.

Last year, Vietnamese organisations donated medical supplies to aid India’s fight against the second Covid-19 wave. The Government of India also donated to Viet Nam 300 oxygen concentrators and 100 tonnes of oxygen as Covid-19 relief while providing the Southeast Asian country with Covid-19 treatment drugs and help in vaccine trials.

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(Source: VNA)