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Vietnam-India: A comprehensive strategic partnership built on a pure bond of faithful, trusted frienship


WVR - Vietnam-India relationship today is growing stronger, broader, deeper and more comprehensive for the interest of our two peoples, and for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.
Viet nam - India: A comprehensive strategic partnership  Built on a pure bond of faithful and trusted frienship
Viet nam - India: A comprehensive strategic partnership  Built on a pure bond of faithful and trusted frienship

Viet nam - India: A comprehensive strategic partnership  Built on a pure bond of faithful and trusted frienship

Going back in history, the peoples of Vietnam and India enjoyed a longstanding friendship. India is the cradle of one of the most illustrious civilizations of mankind, and numerous are the imprints of its cultural engagement with Viet Nam. Since the 16th century, Indian merchants joined European and Asian traders from different countries in the bustling commerce of the port of Hoi An.

In the first decades of the last century, the mutual sympathy between our two peoples, rooted in our common suffering under the colonial yoke, gave rise to a bond of friendship and mutual support in our respective struggles for independence and freedom. This friendship had its foundation laid by the exemplary revolutionary leaders of each country: President Ho Chi Minh, national hero Mahatma Gandhi, and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, and further cultivated by generations of leaders and peoples of both sides. In his “Prison Diary”, President Ho Chi Minh wrote a poem dedicated to Jawaharlal Nehru, who was also imprisoned in India then, to express his sympathy, comradeship and moral support:

“As I strove, to your cause did you commit

You are enjailed, so imprisoned I sit

Though done apart by miles a thousandfold,

Our sympathy needs no word to be told.”

The people of Vietnam will never forget the solidarity and the altruistic support, materially and spiritually, received from the fraternal Indian people throughout the arduous years of the resistance against colonialism and imperialism. Prime Minister Nehru was the first foreign Head of Government to visit Vietnam, arriving only days following the liberation of the capital of Hanoi (October 10, 1954). This demonstrated the strong support from the Government and people of India for the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, and a source of empowerment to the Vietnamese people in our struggle for national liberation and reunification.

The historic visit to India in 1958 by President Ho Chi Minh conveyed the warm and faithful friendship of the Vietnamese people, and left an indelible impression in the hearts of the Indian people. The chant of “Amar Nam, Tomar Nam, Vietnam, Vietnam” ringing out along the streets of India was truly a moving image as an expression of solidarity and fellowship from the Indian to the Vietnamese people. This excellent bond of friendship grew stronger and to a greater height following the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1972.

Viet nam - India: A comprehensive strategic partnership  Built on a pure bond of faithful and trusted frienship

Over the last 50 years, the relationship between India and Vietnam has adapted itself to groundbreaking changes in the region and the world. This bond, grounded in an earnest and faithful friendship and many common interests, has only grown more steadfast and vigorous across the board. From formal diplomatic relations, it grew into a Comprehensive Partnership, then a Strategic Partnership, and, as of today, a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. The strategic substances within our pillars of bilateral cooperation are growing broader and more defined, especially in the domains of politics-diplomacy, defense-security, economic cooperation, science-technology, and cultural and people-to-people engagement.

Bilateral strategic trust has been constantly bolstered through regular exchanges and meetings between high-level leaders and close cooperation between agencies and localities of both sides. Most recently, the telephone conversations of General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the official visit to India by President of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue have generated robust momentum for the comprehensive, substantive and in-depth development of relations between the two countries. The adoption of the Joint Vision Statement for Peace, Prosperity and People by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December 2020 affirmed the vision, resolve, and long-term directions for the development of Vietnam - India relations.

Defense and security cooperation is an important pillar in Vietnam-India relations. Both countries have signed an array of important documents and agreements to expand and deepen cooperation in this area. Accordingly, the focus is placed on information exchange, training, defense industry development, combating crime efforts, and response to security challenges, among others.

Economic cooperation has grown tremendously in both areas and scale, with increasing effectiveness. Viet Nam is currently India’s 4th largest trade partner in Southeast Asia, and India is Viet Nam’s 8th largest trade partner. The two-way turnover exceeded 13 billion USD in 2021 and is likely to reach 15 billion USD in 2022. India has more than 300 investment projects worth 1 billion USD in Vietnam, most of which are in the fields of processing, manufacturing and energy. Vietnamese and Indian airlines have opened many direct flights connecting major economic centers of both countries, thus greatly facilitating trade, investment, tourism, and people-to-people exchange between both sides.

Viet nam - India: A comprehensive strategic partnership  Built on a pure bond of faithful and trusted frienship

Cooperation in education-training, culture, science-technology, energy, healthcare, and the environment has been continuously broadened and deepened. Notably, cooperation in education-training and culture has advanced the sharing of knowledge and values and cultural interaction, further strengthening the social foundations for closer ties between the two peoples. Both countries have stood side-by-side and supported each other in the spirit of solidarity and genuine friendship in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Vietnam and India have shared with one another medical equipment, supplies and ingredients for treatment drugs, and also collaborated in Covid-19 vaccine trials.

The friendship and mutual trust between Vietnam and India also manifest in multilateral cooperation. Both countries share the aspirations for a world of peace, national independence, democracy, and cooperation for mutual development. Both sides also have similar views on regional and international issues, engage in mutual support and close coordination at many multilateral organizations and forums, including the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, South-South cooperation, ASEAN-India cooperation, ASEM, and Mekong-Ganga cooperation.

Looking back on the past 50 years, Vietnam has always taken pride in having India as a truly reliable and faithful friend. As the late Prime Minister once said, “the relations between our two countries are as clear as a cloudless sky”. It also originated from the ardent desires of both Vietnamese and Indian peoples for solidarity and mutual support during the struggles for independence and freedom, and for friendly, equitable, and mutually beneficial cooperation in pursuit of national development and prosperity.

The year 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of Vietnam-India diplomatic relations. Various meaningful activities have been organized and will be held in both countries. These activities pay tribute to the feats by the leaders and peoples of both countries in establishing, maintaining, and enhancing the excellent ties over several decades. At the same time, they also play an important role in stepping up communications about the faithful and pure friendship between the two countries, thereby adding further momentum to the Vietnam-India relations in the new period.

Viet nam - India: A comprehensive strategic partnership  Built on a pure bond of faithful and trusted frienship
A ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of Vietnam-India diplomatic relations was organized on January 1, 2022.

Viet nam - India: A comprehensive strategic partnership  Built on a pure bond of faithful and trusted frienship

Vietnam is striving to advance industrialization and modernization by building upon science and technology, innovation, robust transformation of its growth model, holistic improvement to its market economic institutions, and proactive and comprehensive international integration. Such efforts would serve to fulfill the goal of becoming a developing country with a modern industrial base and an upper-middle income by 2030, and a developed country with a high income by 2045.

In the path to realizing its aspirations and vision for development, Vietnam always considers India as a trusted, close, and loyal friend. Vietnam consistently gives priority to India in its foreign policy, and makes every effort to bolster its ties with India. As close friends, Vietnam rejoices at India’s remarkable development, supports India’s “Act East” policy, and sincerely hopes that India will uphold its rightful stature in the international arena. India also considers Vietnam as a pure friend, a trusted partner, and a significant pillar in the implementation of its “Act East” policy.

Vietnam and India are both dynamic economies, sharing an aspiration to achieve robust growth and enjoying similar strategic interests in terms of development and foreign affairs. Given the strong foundation of a time-tested traditional, faithful and trusted friendship between the two countries, there remains enormous potential to further deepen the Vietnam-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

Viet nam - India: A comprehensive strategic partnership  Built on a pure bond of faithful and trusted frienship

To fully unleash such potential, it is necessary to continuously strengthen and deepen cooperation across all pillars of our bilateral ties. In this connection, the two sides should continue to improve the effectiveness of bilateral cooperation mechanisms through Party-to-Party and State-to-State channels, and strengthen the relations between our agencies, localities and peoples, so as to reinforce strategic trust.

In addition, it is necessary to further enhance collaboration in defense, security and external affairs. Such endeavors will play a key role in the development of each country, and contribute to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.

Our two countries have sufficient capacity and relevant conditions to become one of each other’s top economic partners. Accordingly, India can be among Vietnam’s major investors and leading trade partners. To this end, it is important to further expand, deepen and improve our two countries’ trade, investment and economic linkages, particularly those pertaining to infrastructure, energy, supply chains, science and technology, innovation, and digital transformation.

In addition, the two sides should continue to promote the effective and substantive implementation of signed bilateral agreements and treaties. At the same time, both sides should continue to expand and deepen cooperation in cultural exchange, education and training, healthcare, tourism, the environment, and climate change response, in ways that can enhance the effectiveness of and add complementary advantages to both countries’ socio-economic development.

On the multilateral front, our two countries should continue to work closely and support each other at regional and international forums, including ASEAN. Both countries should also continue to uphold multilateralism and the respect for international law, and together strive to ensure peace, national independence, democracy, cooperation, sustainable development, and social progress.

The traditional friendship and tight-knit bond between our two countries and peoples have been tempered through various hardships, growing ever-stronger in a comprehensive and extensive manner. Given the development demands of each country, and amid a world of constant changes, the faithful and trusted friendship and Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between Vietnam and India bear even greater importance for both countries. Vietnam and India remain determined to exert every effort to maintain this excellent friendship, and bolster this Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in an extensive, substantive and effective manner. Such endeavors will fulfill the aspirations and interests of our people, and contribute to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and beyond.

Viet nam - India: A comprehensive strategic partnership  Built on a pure bond of faithful and trusted frienship