His Excellency Mr. Pham Binh Minh,
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,
Representatives of the Media,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to be here for the 16th Joint Commission Meeting between India and Vietnam. I am deeply touched by the warm welcome accorded to me and my delegation.
I am visiting Vietnam after a gap of 4 years and am impressed with the rapid pace of development in the country. Yesterday we inaugurated the 3rd edition of the Indian Ocean Conference. I would like to thank the Government of Vietnam and the Diplomatic Academy
of Vietnam for their unwavering support, to make the event a grand success.
Vietnam is one of our most important partners in the ASEAN region and has an important role in our framework of Act East policy. It is a matter of great pride that our fruitful partnership has grown multifold in recent years.
During the visit of Prime Minister Modi to Vietnam in 2016, our bilateral relationship was elevated to the status of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. During the visit of H.E. Pham Binh Minh in July 2017, we agreed on the Plan of Action to operationalise
the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, which I am happy to inform you, is proceeding very well.
India immensely values its close and enduring friendship with Vietnam. In January this year, we had the privilege of receiving Prime Minister of Vietnam, H.E. Nguyen Xuan Phuc along with nine other ASEAN leaders on the occasion of the ASEAN India Commemorative
Summit. PM Phuc along with other leaders were also Chief Guests at our Republic Day parade.
The State Visit of His Excellency Mr. Tran Dai Quang, President of Vietnam and other high level exchanges this year has given unprecedented momentum to our partnership.
Minister Pham Binh Minh and I have just concluded very constructive and substantive talks. We had open and frank discussion on all important aspects of our bilateral relationship such as political, economic, cultural, defence, agricultural, scientific and technological
We noted with happiness that our relations have excelled in all these spheres. Both of us are developing countries and have been benefitting from each others’ experiences.
Defence and security cooperation has emerged as a significant pillar of our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. In this regard, we agreed that it is essential to strengthen our cooperation in maritime domain and decided to hold the first Bilateral Maritime
Security Dialogue later in 2018.
We are both fully committed to an open, transparent, inclusive and rules-based regional architecture to enhance our maritime relations.
In our discussions today, we also agreed to strengthen our trade and investment relations in sectors like renewable energy, agriculture and agro-products, textiles, and oil & gas. We decided to not only strengthen our long-standing bilateral relations in the
oil and gas sector, but also to work with other countries on the possibilities of trilateral partnerships.
India take pride and satisfaction in the fact that thousands of Vietnamese people have received their education and training in technical and other subjects in India. I am happy that the Jaipur Foot Camp has completed its task of providing the limb fitments
in two Vietnamese provinces benefitting hundreds of Vietnamese citizens and helping them to stand tall and lead fulfilling and dignified lives.
We look forward to expanding our assistance to the Cham community in the Ninh Thuan province through the implementation of grants-in-aid projects, MoUs for which have been signed today.
From our discussions today, I am convinced that India-Vietnam Comprehensive Strategic partnership will continue to develop and prosper for mutual benefit of our two countries, and for peace and development in the region. I will be meeting PM Phuc in the evening
and expect to have a fruitful discussion.
I once again thank H.E. Mr Pham Binh Minh for his gracious hospitality and for sharing his knowledge and experience. I also thank the leadership of Vietnam for their trust in India.