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Joint Statement between India and Vietnam during the visit of Prime Minister to Vietnam

September 03, 2016

At the invitation of H. E. Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the Prime Minister of the Republic of India H.E. Mr. Narendra Modi paid an Official Visit to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam from 02 - 03 September 2016.

On 3 September 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was accorded a ceremonial reception. This was followed by bilateral talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. Thereafter, the two Prime Ministers witnessed the signing of bilateral documents. Prime Minister Narendra Modi met H.E. Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of Vietnam Communist Party, H.E. Mr. Tran Dai Quang, President of Vietnam, and H.E. Mrs. Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, Chairperson of the National Assembly of Vietnam. Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid a wreath at the Memorial of National Heroes and Martyrs and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, visited the Ho Chi Minh Residential Complex and the Quan Su Pagoda in Ha Noi.

Leaders of Vietnam and India reviewed and expressed their satisfaction over the strong and comprehensive development of the relations of long-standing traditional friendship and Strategic Partnership between the two countries so far. Both sides welcomed the fact that the two countries will be celebrating the 45th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations (07/1/1972 - 07/1/2017) and the 10th anniversary of establishment of Strategic Partnership (06/7/2007 - 06/7/2017) in 2017, and emphasized that this marks a milestone and opens a new stage for the bilateral relations.

They shared the view that Vietnam - India relations have been built on a firm foundation, with close links in culture, history and civilization, mutual trust and understanding as well as the strong mutual support in international and regional fora. The Vietnamese side reaffirmed Vietnam's support for India's Act East Policy and welcomed a greater role for India in the regional and international arena. Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaffirmed that Vietnam is an important pillar of India's Act East Policy.

Based on the current excellent relations, in order to meet the expectation of the Leaders and people of the two countries, and with the desire to contribute to regional peace, stability, cooperation and prosperity, Vietnam and India agreed to elevate the current Strategic Partnership to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. The two Prime Ministers agreed to assign the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs to be the focal points, in collaboration with other ministries and agencies of both sides, to build the Plan of Action to bring the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership to reality in all areas of cooperation.

1. Political relations, defense and security:

Both sides shared convergence of views on various bilateral and international issues, including the regional security situation in Asia. They expressed happiness at the success of recent high level visits of President Pranab Mukherjee and Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj in 2014, Speaker of Lok Sabha and National Security Adviser in 2015 from the Indian side, and the visits of General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong in November 2013, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in October 2014 and President of Vietnam Fatherland Front in 2015 from the Vietnamese side. Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the Vietnamese Leaders and people on the successful outcomes of the 12th National Communist Party Congress and of the elections for the 14th National Assembly and People's Councils tenure 2016-2021. Once again, he reiterated sincere congratulations to Vietnam's newly-elected leaders.

Both sides agreed to increase the exchange of high-level and other visits, step up relations between political parties and legislative institutions of both sides, establish relations between provincial/state governments on both sides, uphold established bilateral cooperation mechanisms, and effectively implement the agreements signed between two countries.

The two Prime Ministers expressed satisfaction at the significant progress made in defence cooperation, including exchange of high level visits, annual high-level dialogue, service-to-service cooperation, naval ship visits, extensive training and capacity building, defence equipment procurement and related transfer of technology, and cooperation at regional fora such as ADMM-Plus.

Both sides agreed to effectively implement the Joint Vision Statement on India-Vietnam Defence Relations of May 2015. Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaffirmed India's significant interest in promoting defence industry cooperation between the two sides and committed to provide a new Line of Credit for Vietnam in this area. Both sides welcomed the signing of the contract for Offshore High-speed Patrol Boats between M/s Larsen & Toubro and Vietnam Border Guards utilizing the US$100 million Line of Credit for defence procurement extended by India to Vietnam. Prime Minister Modi announced a grant of US$ 5 million for the construction of an Army Software Park at the Telecommunications University in Nha Trang.

The Prime Ministers welcomed the signing of the MOU on Cyber Security between Ministry of Public Security of Vietnam and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology of India and the transfer of equipment to the Indian funded Indira Gandhi High-Tech Crime Laboratory. They agreed to an early conclusion of the MOU for cooperation between the National Security Council Secretariat of India and the Ministry of Public Security of Vietnam, emphasized the need to establish the Deputy Ministerial level dialogue and to enhance cooperation on traditional and non-traditional security matters, cyber security, counter-terrorism, transnational crimes, disaster management and response, and undertaking training and capacity building programmes.

2. Economic relations, trading and investment:

The two Leaders emphasized that enhancing bilateral economic engagement is a strategic objective. In this regard, they requested the related ministries and agencies on both sides to explore substantive and practical measures to achieve the trade target of US$15 billion by 2020, including but not limited to: utilizing established mechanisms such as the Joint Sub-Commission on Trade, intensifying the exchanges among states of India and provinces of Vietnam, strengthening exchanges of delegation and Business-to-Business contacts, regular organization of trade fairs and events such as the India-CLMV Business Conclave and Vietnam - India Business Forum.

They welcomed the effective implementation of India-ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement and the conclusion of India-ASEAN Trade in Services and Investment Agreements (AITGA). They also called for close cooperation towards realization of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP).

The Prime Ministers urged leaders of business and industry to explore new business opportunities in the identified priority areas for cooperation: hydrocarbons, power generation, renewable energy, infrastructure, tourism, textiles, footwear, medical and pharmaceuticals, ICT, electronics, agriculture, agro-products, chemicals, machine tools and other supporting industries.

Both sides encouraged greater two-way investment between Vietnam and India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed Vietnamese companies to take advantage of the various schemes and facilities offered under the 'Make in India' programme. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc welcomed Indian companies to invest in Vietnam and affirmed Vietnam's commitment to create favourable conditions and facilitation for Indian investments in accordance with Vietnamese laws. Prime Minister Modi sought facilitation of the Government of Vietnam for major Indian investments such as Tata Power's Long Phu-II 1320MW thermal power project for achieving contractual conclusion.

3. Energy:

The Vietnamese side welcomed the long-standing investment and presence of ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) and its partnership with PetroVietnam (PVN) for exploration of oil and gas in Vietnam. The Prime Ministers agreed to further enhance cooperation in the oil and gas sector and urged both sides to actively implement the Agreement signed in 2014 between PVN and OVL on cooperation in new blocks in Vietnam. The Vietnamese side also welcomed Indian oil and gas companies to avail of opportunities in participating in mid-stream and down-stream sectors in Vietnam.

Both Prime Ministers highly value the importance of renewable energy and expressed the belief that both India and Vietnam would immensely benefit from enhancing the share of renewable energy in the overall power generation. The Vietnamese side welcomes Prime Minister Modi's ambitious plan for deployment of 175 GW of renewable power capacities by 2022, including 100GW of solar and 60GW of wind power in India. In this regard, the two Leaders urged both sides to step up their cooperation in this sector.

4. Connectivities:

Both sides reiterated the importance of connectivity between Vietnam and India. They urged airlines of both sides to soon open direct flights between major cities of Vietnam and India. They sought accelerating the establishment of direct shipping routes between the sea ports of Vietnam and India. Both sides agreed on the need to further strengthen physical connectivity between India and ASEAN. The Indian side urged Vietnam to utilize various initiatives of India for CLMV countries and the India - ASEAN Line of Credit for physical and digital connectivity.

Both sides agreed to enhance banking and financial sector linkages between the two countries for facilitating more intensive economic engagement. The Vietnamese side welcomed the opening of a branch of Bank of India in Ho Chi Minh City in July 2016 and took note of the Indian side's request on licensing international foreign exchange transactions of Bank of India to assist Indian business and industry in Vietnam.

5. Science and Technology:

The Prime Ministers expressed satisfaction at three decades of bilateral cooperation in the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes pursuant to the agreement signed by the two countries in 1986. They welcomed the discussions aimed at concluding the Agreement on Cooperation between the Indian Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership and Vietnam Atomic Institute and agreed to expedite the negotiation and conclusion of the new Inter-Governmental Framework Agreement on Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, which will set a strong foundation for further cooperation in civil nuclear energy.

The Prime Ministers expressed satisfaction at signing of the Inter-Governmental Framework Agreement between the two countries for Exploration of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes and urge both sides to soon conclude the Implementing Arrangement between the Indian Space Research Organisation and Vietnam Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment on Establishment of Tracking and Data Reception Station and Data Processing Facility in Vietnam under the India-ASEAN Space Cooperation. The Vietnamese side welcomed the establishment of the facility which would increase capabilities of Vietnam and ASEAN countries in remote sensing with numerous commercial and scientific applications.

6. Training:

Both Prime Ministers welcomed ongoing cooperation in the establishment of capacity building institutes in Vietnam in IT, English language training, entrepreneurship development, high-performance computing and other areas and expressed satisfaction at the finalization of development partnership projects including the establishment of Vietnam-India English and IT Training Centre at the Telecommunications University in Nha Trang, the Centre for Excellence in Software Development and Training at Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnam welcomed the offer to train 15 Vietnamese diplomats at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi and 25 Vietnamese students of Vietnam National University Faculty of Oriental Studies at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.

The Indian side affirmed that it would continue to provide training through Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) and provide scholarships for Vietnamese students and Government officials. Vietnam welcomed India's assistance under the framework of Mekong - Ganga Cooperation, especially the Quick Impact Projects Fund (QIPF).

7. Health, Culture, Tourism and People-to-people links:

Both sides welcomed the conclusion and signing of the MOU on health cooperation. They also emphasized the importance of encouraging traditional medicine.

Both sides agreed to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in culture, tourism, people-to-people links, especially exchanges between the youth of Vietnam and India. Prime Minister Modi thanked Vietnam for facilitating the establishment of the Indian Cultural Centre in Hanoi which will open shortly. The Prime Ministers instructed officials to quickly follow-up the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding on conservation and restoration of Cham monuments at My Son, Quang Nam Province, by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Vietnam highly appreciated the support and assistance of India in organizing activities highlighting the role and contributions of President Ho Chi Minh. Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked Vietnam for its leadership in facilitating the inscription of the Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

India announced the offer of special annual scholarships for Vietnamese students for advanced Buddhist studies at Masters/Doctoral level courses and annual scholarships of one year duration for study of Sanskrit in Indian institutes for the members of the Buddhist Sangha in Vietnam.

8. Regional and international cooperation:

The Prime Ministers valued the cooperation and coordination between both sides at regional and international fora and agreed to strengthen cooperation particularly in UN, NAM, WTO, ASEAN and related forums including ARF, ADMM Plus, EAS, ASEM and as well as other sub-regional cooperation mechanisms. India welcomed the realization of ASEAN Community and expressed full support for ASEAN's centrality in the evolving regional structure. India welcomed and highlighted the significant contribution of Vietnam to the ASEAN - India Strategic Partnership in its capacity as ASEAN Coordinator for India for the period of 2015-2018.

Both Vietnam and India stressed the need for reform of the United Nations and expansion of the UN Security Council in both the permanent and the non-permanent categories of membership, with enhanced representation from developing countries. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed gratitude for Vietnam's consistent support to India's candidature for permanent membership of a reformed and expanded UNSC. The Prime Ministers reaffirmed support for each other's candidature for non-permanent membership of the UNSC, Vietnam for the term 2020-21 and India for the term 2021-22. Both sides expressed satisfaction at the conclusion of the Program of Cooperation in UN Peacekeeping Matters. The Indian side expressed its commitment to capacity building and training to enable Vietnam's participation in UN peacekeeping operations.

Both sides reiterated their desire and determination to work together to maintain peace, stability, growth and prosperity in Asia and beyond. Noting the Award issued on 12 July 2016 of the Arbitral Tribunal constituted under the Annex VII to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea (UNCLOS), both sides reiterated their support for peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and over flight, and unimpeded commerce, based on the principles of international law, as reflected notably in the UNCLOS. Both sides also called on all states to resolve disputes through peaceful means without threat or use of force and exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that could complicate or escalate disputes affecting peace and stability, respect the diplomatic and legal processes, fully observe the Declaration on the conduct of parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and soon finalize the Code of Conduct (COC). They also recognised that the sea lanes of communication passing through the South China Sea are critical for peace, stability, prosperity and development. Vietnam and India, as State Parties to the UNCLOS, urged all parties to show utmost respect for the UNCLOS, which establishes the international legal order of the seas and oceans.

The following Agreements were signed in the presence of the two Prime Ministers:

(i) Framework Agreement on Cooperation in the Exploration and Uses of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes;
(ii) Protocol for Amending the Agreement on Avoiding Double Taxation;
(iii) Program of Cooperation in UN Peacekeeping Matters;
(iv) Protocol between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam and the Ministry of External Affairs of India on Celebrating 2017 as the "Year of Friendship”;
(v) MOU on Health Cooperation;
(vi) MOU on Cooperation in Information Technology;
(vii) MOU on Cooperation between the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences and the Indian Council of World Affairs;
(viii) MOU on cooperation in Cyber Security;
(ix) MOU between the Bureau of Indian Standards and Directorate for Standard, Metrology and Quality for Cooperation in the Fields of Standardization and Conformity Assessment;
(x) MOU on Establishment of the Centre of Excellence in Software Development and Training;
(xi) Technical Agreement on Sharing of White Shipping Information;
(xii) Contract for Offshore High-speed Patrol Boats;.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's interactions with the entire leadership of Vietnam were marked by warmth, friendship and mutual respect. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his gratitude for the warm reception and hospitality accorded to him and his delegation. He extended an invitation to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to visit India at a mutually convenient date. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc accepted the invitation with pleasure. Dates for the visits will be finalized through diplomatic channels.

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