Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang has told the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency ahead of his state visit to India that his trip is to continue to strengthen friendship between the two peoples, reinforce, deepen and add greater substance to bilateral strategic partnership.

The Indian news agency quoted the President as saying that he will exchange views with the Indian leaders on means and ways to further enhance bilateral cooperation in all fields, including coordination at regional and international forums with a view to uplifting Vietnam-India relations to be commensurate with the vast potentials of the two countries and expectations of their people.

President Sang noted that the visit takes place in the context that the time-honoured traditional friendship and strategic partnership between Vietnam and India are witnessing strong growth in all areas for the sake of peace, stability, cooperation and development, adding that the strategic ties between Vietnam and India should be enhanced, taking into consideration the changing
global scenario.

At present, Vietnam and India are two economies of dynamic and strong growth in Asia and are each other's strategic partners. Therefore, great importance should be attached to all cooperation areas, the Vietnamese President said.
On bilateral trade ties, he noted that the current trade figure of 2.7 billion USD is not commensurate with the potential, and expressed hope that the bilateral trade and economic cooperation will be further strengthened and expanded with the trade volume reaching 7 billion USD in 2015 with
both sides taking fresh steps to expand cooperation.

Commenting on the controversy over oil exploration by India in two Vietnamese oil blocks in the East Sea, the President told PTI that it is a fact that all cooperation projects between Vietnam and other partners including ONGC in the field of oil and gas are located on the continental shelf, within the exclusive economic zone and under the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of Vietnam, entirely in conformity with international laws, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

He said Vietnam welcomes foreign companies to work with Vietnamese
partners in oil and gas projects on the continental shelf and exclusive economic zone of Vietnam and in conformity with Vietnamese laws, affirming that Vietnam is also committed to protecting the legitimate interests of foreign companies which have invested in the country./.