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Media Statements of Prime Minister and the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam

November 20, 2013

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh: Your Excellency Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Ladies and Gentlemen of the media,

I am delighted to welcome His Excellency General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong on his first State Visit to India.

Both India and Vietnam belong to a region that holds enormous potential, but also many challenges. We have a strong convergence of interests in working together, and with others in the region, for a stable, peaceful and prosperous Asia. We have therefore sought to build a comprehensive relationship with a broad-based agenda of bilateral and regional cooperation. Vietnam’s emergence as one of the most vibrant economies in the Asia Pacific region is greatly welcomed by India, especially because we regard Vietnam as a trusted and privileged strategic partner and an important pillar of our Look East Policy.

General Secretary Trong and I held very cordial and productive discussions today. We have agreed on a number of initiatives that will define the contours of our Strategic Partnership in the years ahead.

We reaffirmed the importance of defence and security cooperation in our overall Strategic Partnership and agreed to strengthen it further. India will continue to assist Vietnam in modernization and training of its defence and security forces, including through a 100 million U.S. dollar line of credit for defence purchases. We will also help in setting up the Indira Gandhi High-tech Cyber Forensic Laboratory in Hanoi and a Vietnam-India English and IT Training Centre at the National Defence Academy of Vietnam.

Our bilateral trade has grown steadily and we are on course to achieve the trade target of 7 billion US dollars by 2015. A new Joint Sub-Commission on Trade has been tasked to work towards realizing the enormous potential of our economic relations. Indian investments in Vietnam are growing and I requested General Secretary Trong to facilitate them further in Vietnam. I expressed appreciation for Vietnam’s decision to award Tata Power a 1.8 billion US dollar thermal power project in Vietnam and the offer of another offshore block to ONGC Videsh Limited for continued oil and gas exploration. We also look forward to boosting our bilateral economic ties through the India-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement and connectivity projects. The Air Services Agreement signed today advances our goal of strengthening connectivity between our countries.

General Secretary Trong and I reviewed our development partnership and capacity-building efforts. The PARAM High Performance Computing Facility has just been inaugurated at the Hanoi University of Science and Technology, which is India’s first gift of a supercomputer to another country. Vietnam has been an important partner in the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme, which we have agreed to continue. We have identified Education and Information Technology as important areas for further collaboration.

We are satisfied with the progress in Science and Technology cooperation, especially in bio-technology and agriculture. India also appreciates Vietnam’s assistance in setting up its first overseas farm for catfish breeding, where Vietnam has proven expertise.

I conveyed the Archeological Survey of India’s readiness to take up the project for conservation and restoration of the Cham Monuments, which are a symbol of our historical, civilizational and cultural contacts. We have also decided to open an Indian Culture Centre in Hanoi.

We have agreed to further strengthen contacts at all levels - national and provincial - and between leaders in all walks of life. We also look forward to initiating a Distinguished Visitors Programme soon.

We exchanged views on regional and international issues of common interest. We appreciate Vietnam’s steadfast support to India’s integration and engagement with the ASEAN and our aspiration for permanent membership of a reformed UN Security Council.

I believe that this visit by General Secretary Trong has put our Strategic Partnership on a firm growth path.

I thank you.

General Secretary, Communist Party of Vietnam (Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong): Your Excellency Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, ladies and gentlemen and dear friends:

I am very happy to visit the beautiful and hospitable land of India. On behalf of the Vietnamese Delegation I would like to express my sincere thanks to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Government and the people of India for the hospitality and warm friendship extended to us.

Vietnam-India friendly relationship has been longstanding and it is growing fast. On the basis of the interests and vast potentials for bilateral cooperation, the two countries established Strategic Partnership in 2007. My current visit to India aims to further expand and deepen our Strategic Partnership.

The Prime Minister and I have had open, trusted and meaningful talks. We discussed the situation in each country and reached agreement on the direction and major measures to promote bilateral relations in the years ahead. We also shared views on regional and international issues of mutual interest.

We agreed to strengthen bilateral relations based on the five pillars underlined under the framework of the Strategic Partnership including the enhancement of close and trusted political ties and expansion of security and defence cooperation. We promote exchange of delegations at all levels including the highest level through such channels as state polity and people-to-people exchange.

We have identified economic, trade and investment cooperation as a priority of our future cooperation and set the goal of US$ 15 billion for bilateral trade by 2020. At the same time, both sides should expand cooperation on culture, tourism, education and science and technology.

During this visit we signed cooperation agreements on such areas as trade, finance, energy, customs, transport, education, training, and people-to-people exchanges.

On the multilateral basis, the Prime Minister and I exchanged views on regional and international issues and agreed that we should strengthen collaboration at international forums, especially under the ASEAN-India cooperation framework, the EAS, the UN, and the Non-Aligned Movement.

Vietnam highly appreciates India’s support of its candidacy for a non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council for 2020-2021 terms. Vietnam reiterates its support for India to become a permanent member of the enlarged UN Security Council and a non-permanent of the UN Security Council for subsequent terms.

We highly appreciate India’s persistent support of a peaceful resolution for the disputes in the East Sea of Vietnam on the basis of international laws, and in particular the 1982 enclaves ensuring maritime security and safety and freedom of navigation in the Asia-Pacific region.

I am confident that the outcome of today’s talks along with the agreements signed during this visit will help deepen the Vietnam-India relationship taking it to the next level with added substances in line with the potentials and desire of our peoples for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world at large.

Thank you very much.

New Delhi
November 20, 2013

Click here for the video of this Media Interaction

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