Vietnamese Ambassador to India Ton Sinh Thanh speaks at the event. (Source: VNA)

New Delhi (VNA) – The Embassy of Vietnam in India held a ceremony in New Delhi on January 18 to mark 45 years of Vietnam – India diplomatic ties (January 7) and to welcome the Lunar New Year (Tet) festival.

The event was attended by India’s Minister of State for External Affairs Mobashar Jawed Akbar, representatives from the host country’s ministries, sectors and parliament, and the Embassies of the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Cuba and Bhutan in India, among others.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Vietnamese Ambassador to India Ton Sinh Thanh said since the establishment of Vietnam-India diplomatic ties on January 7, 1972, the two nations’ relationship has experienced strong development. India has always been a great friend of Vietnam, Thanh said, quoting late Prime Minister Pham Van Dong as saying that Vietnam-India ties were as clear as a cloudless sky.   

The two countries entered into a strategic partnership in 2007, and ever since, Vietnam and India have expanded cooperation in the five pillars of politics, national defence – security, economics, science-technology and culture-education.

The two nations’ leaders elevated the strategic partnership to a comprehensive strategic partnership during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Vietnam in 2016.

The ambassador highlighted that India is one of the 10 biggest trade partners of Vietnam, with bilateral trade value reaching 5.5 billion USD in 2016. The figure is expected to reach 15 billion USD by 2020. The country has invested in 130 projects in Vietnam, worth a total of 700 million USD.

The Vietnamese diplomat expressed his belief that the Vietnam – India partnership will continue growing for peace, stability, cooperation, common wealth and development in Asia-Pacific and the world.

Echoing Thanh’s opinion on the Vietnam – India friendship, Minister Mobashar Jawed Akbar said the two nations shared similarities in their fight against colonialism for national independence. He expressed the belief that bilateral cooperation has huge potential and will continue growing in the future, adding that the comprehensive strategic partnership will be based on the two pillars of security and prosperity.

He expressed thanks to Vietnam for supporting India’s “Act East” policy, and wished that Vietnam will serve as a bridge connecting India with ASEAN nations.

During the event, participants were treated to Vietnamese art and food.-VNA