Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee and Politburo member Le Thanh Hai on March 14 paid a courtesy call to Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, affirming that his city always considers India as one of its top partners and investors.

Hai is leading a high-ranking delegation from the city that is in India from March 13 at the invitation of the President of the India-Vietnam Friendship Association, aiming to further increase ties between the two countries, and between the city and Indian localities.

During the meeting, he emphasised that Vietnamese people always remember the warm sentiments and whole-hearted support India gave to Vietnam during its past struggle for independence as well as the recent national defence and development cause.

Hai said he hopes President Mukherjee will continue to support the strengthening of cooperation between Ho Chi Minh City and Indian localities to help improve the friendship and strategic partnership between Vietnam and India.

President Mukherjee was delighted that the strategic partnership between the two countries has developed significantly in all fields, including politics, economics, security, defence, culture, education and training, and science and technology.

He expressed his belief that Hai and his delegation’s visit will help boost bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

The same day, Hai met General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI) Sudkhar Reddy to discuss ways to strengthen the exchange of experience in Party operations, building and development.

Also on March 14, Hai and his delegation met the President of the India-Vietnam Friendship Association.

The two sides expressed their pleasure at the successful activities celebrating the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Particularly, sectors and ministries of the two sides have accelerated the opening of a direct air route linking Ho Chi Minh City and India, which will boost cooperation in trade, investment and tourism between the two countries, they said.-VNA