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Media Statements by Prime Minister of India and Prime Minister of Vietnam in New Delhi (October 28, 2014)

October 28, 2014

Prime Minister of India (Narendra Modi): Your Excellency, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Members of the Media

I am delighted to welcome Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to India. His third visit to India is a testimony to his strong confidence and interest in the relations between our two countries.

Since entering office, my government has promptly and purposefully intensified our engagement in the Asia Pacific region, which is critical to India's future.It is no surprise that Vietnam has been at the forefront of our efforts. Our President paid a highly successful State visit to Vietnam in September; our External Affairs Minister visited Vietnam in August.

India and Vietnam share ancient spiritual and cultural links, which is reflected in Prime Minister Dung's visit to Bodh Gaya before coming to Delhi. We are two developing nations. We have been steadfast in our support for each other and we have stood with each other in difficult moments. We in India admire the people of Vietnam for the courage and resolve with which they have overcome many formidable challenges to their nation.

Today, our partnership is important for promoting our nations' prosperity and essential for advancing peace and stability in our shared neighbourhood. We have shared interest in maritime security, including freedom of navigation and commerce and peaceful settlement of maritime disputes in accordance with international law.

In our discussions today, Prime Minister Dung and I had strong convergence of views on our region and how to further deepen our bilateral relations.

Our defence cooperation with Vietnam is among our most important ones. India remains committed to the modernization of Vietnam's defence and security forces. This will include expansion of our training programme, which is already very substantial, joint-exercises and cooperation in defence equipment. We will quickly operationalise the 100 million dollars Line of Credit that will enable Vietnam acquire new naval vessels from India. We have also agreed to enhance our security cooperation, including in counter-terrorism.

We have also agreed to increase our cooperation in Space, including in space applications and launch of Vietnam's satellites, and in peaceful uses of civil nuclear energy.

We emphasized the need for stronger economic relationship as an essential component of a strong strategic partnership. We see great opportunities for increased trade and enhanced Indian participation in areas such energy, infrastructure, textiles, chemicals, machinery, agro-processing and information technology in Vietnam. We have offered to discuss additional lines of credit to support Vietnam's efforts to diversify its industry and economic linkages.

Vietnam's recent decisions on infrastructure projects for Indian companies, the award of a banking licence to Bank of India and commencement of direct air links through Jet Airways and Vietnam Airlines reflect the new momentum in our economic relations.

I thanked Prime Minister for Vietnam's commitment to collaboration with India in its oil and gas sector and its additional offer of exploration blocks. We will continue to deepen our cooperation in this sector and associated downstream industry.

Cultural, academic and people-to-people exchanges constitute an equally important pillar of our relationship. The agreements that we have signed today - MoU on Conservation and Restoration of Cham Monuments at My Son,MoU on Vietnam's participation in the Nalanda University and MoU on Audio Visual Cooperation – are just some of the steps that we are taking to promote greater contacts and tourism between our two countries.

I have thanked Prime Minister Dung for Vietnam's co-sponsorship of the resolution in the UN General Assembly to declare June 21 as the International Yoga Day.

I conveyed my appreciation for Vietnam’s consistent support to India’s candidature for permanent membership of a reformed United Nations Security Council. We will continue to work together in regional forums, including the forthcoming East Asia Summit and India-ASEAN Summit, for peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

As Vietnam assumes the role of ASEAN Coordinator for India in 2015, I am confident that India’s integration with our ASEAN partners will get a further impetus.

I am very happy to say that the State Visit of Prime MinisterNguyen Tan Dung, together with our President's visit last month,has not only strengthened our traditional friendship, but also accelerated the momentum of our Strategic Partnership.

Thank you.

Prime Minister of Vietnam (Mr. Nguyen Tan Dung): Your Excellency Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ladies and gentlemen, first of all I would like to welcome and express my gratitude to Your Excellency Mr. Prime Minister for your statement.

Ladies and gentlemen, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and I just had open, candid and very productive talks. We discussed measures to strengthen our traditional friendship and strategic partnership. At the same time we also exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interest.

Both sides reiterated the consistent policy of each country to attach great importance to maintaining and developing Vietnam-India traditional friendship and strategic partnership.

India highly valued Vietnam’s active role and contribution in ASEAN and in the region. Vietnam reaffirmed its support for India’s Look East Policy towards Southeast Asia as well as India’s increasingly important role in the region and the world at large.

Your Excellency Prime Minister, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Government and people of Vietnam to express our sincere gratitude for the enormous and invaluable support and assistance extended by the Government and people of India to Vietnam in our past struggle for national independence as well as in our current course of national development and events.

We have agreed to further deepen the strategic partnership and strengthen cooperation in all areas. Accordingly, both sides will continue to promote the exchange of visits and meetings at all levels and through all channels from state to state, government to government, parliament to parliament, party to party, to local cooperation and people to people exchange.

We agreed to bring into full play the existing mechanisms for bilateral cooperation such as the inter-government committee, strategic dialogue, political consultation, defence dialogue, and security dialogue among others. On that note we highly appreciate the outcomes of the recent official visit to Vietnam by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj.

On behalf of the Government and people of Vietnam I have extended an invitation to Excellency Prime Minister Modi to pay an official visit to Vietnam soon. Prime Minister Modi accepted my invitation with pleasure, and both sides will soon work on the time for the visit.

Both sides also agreed on the target of USD 15 billion of bilateral trade by 2020, and we also agreed to strive to exceed this target. We also agreed to create favourable conditions for businesses from both countries to increase trade and investment cooperation for mutual benefit in the areas where both sides have strengths such as oil and gas, energy, infrastructure development, IT, chemicals, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, and agricultural processing.

India agreed to assist Vietnam to diversify sources of input materials for Vietnamese industries, especially the textile and garment industry. Vietnam was committed to encouraging Vietnamese businesses to actively engage in the Make in India campaign initiated by His Excellency Prime Minister.

Both sides agreed to move forward concrete cooperation in national defence and security an important pillar of the Vietnam-India Strategic Partnership, enhance substantive cooperation in the areas of science, technology, culture, education, aviation and maritime connectivity, tourism and people-to-people exchange.

On this occasion, as you have witnessed, many important cooperation agreements have been signed. And we have successfully held the Vietnam-India Business Forum yesterday.

We reaffirmed our commitment to continue working closely and effectively together at regional and international forums such as ASEAN-India Coopeartion, the EAS, the ARF, the RCEP, the NAM, and the UN.

Both sides agreed on the importance of maintaining peace, stability, maritime security and safety, resolving disputes in the East Sea by peaceful means on the basis of international law including the 1982 UN convention on the Law of the Sea, fully and seriously implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and striving for an early formulation and completion of a code of conduct in the South China Sea COC. Vietnam highly appreciated India’s position regarding the East Sea issue and India’s continued cooperation with Vietnam in oil and gas exploration and extraction in the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of Vietnam in the East Sea.

Your Excellency Prime Minister, ladies and gentlemen, I am fully convinced that the Vietnam-India Strategic Partnership will continue to develop in breadth and depth meeting the interests and aspirations of the two people for peace, cooperation, development in the region and the world over.

Thank you very much for your attention.

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