Indian Consul General in HCM City Smita Pant (middle) at the ceremony (Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – A ceremony was held in Ho Chi Minh City on February 3 to celebrate the 67th Republic Day of India, which marked the birth of the country’s constitution (January 26).

Indian Consul General in HCM City Smita Pant briefed participants on her country’s socio-economic development and highlighted increasing relations between India and Vietnam in recent years.

India considers Vietnam a strategic partner, a friend and a key pillar in its “Act East” policy, she noted.

The two countries should boost trade, investment and economic cooperation in the coming time, the diplomat said, adding that India hopes to lift two-way trade to 15 billion USD ahead of 2020.

She revealed that Indian firms plan to invest in a number of projects in the Mekong Delta and want to expand links with HCM City in information technology, which is one of India’s strengths.

Congratulating India on its recent achievements, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem highlighted the economic development between the two sides, affirming that India is a close friend of Vietnam.

Trade between HCM City and India hit 822 million USD in 2015. Indian businesses have poured 55 million USD into 43 projects in the city.

Liem said there is great potential for enterprises from India and HCM City to strengthen cooperation, adding that he looks forward to stronger ties between the two sides.-VNA