The upcoming visit of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee to Vietnam is expected to further enhance the traditional friendship and strategic partnership between the two countries.

During the visit from September 14-17, the two sides will review the progress made in terms of cooperation since the mutual visits of respective state leaders, particularly President Truong Tan Sang in October, 2011 and Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in November, 2013.

They will also devise guidelines and measures for boosting the Vietnam-India strategic partnership, while discussing regional and international issues of mutual concern.

India’s history goes back more than 5,000 years and is home to one of the world’s oldest civilisations. With its 1.24 billion inhabitants, it is the biggest country in South Asia and the fourth largest economy in the world.

Since Vietnam and India established diplomatic ties in January 7, 1972, they have become important partners, with bilateral trade increasing by an average 16 percent each year since 2009, reaching the 5.23 billion USD mark last year, up 35 percent since 2012.

The two sides are aiming to generate 7 billion USD in trade by 2015 and 15 billion USD in 2020.

India has implemented 78 direct investment projects totalling 254.5 million USD in Vietnam so far. Indian TATA Group is planning to invest in a 1.8 billion USD Long Phu II thermal power plant in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang.

In terms of education, culture, sports and tourism, India has provided support to Vietnam to train high quality human resources in various fields, particularly information technology, via hundreds of scholarships.

India has also offered Vietnam preferential credit, with official development assistance of 19.5 million USD over the past three years.

Currently, the two sides are negotiating a 100 million USD credit package.

The country has also cooperated closely with Vietnam in the field of oil and gas.

They are working towards a number of cooperation agreements, including on science and technology, and agriculture and aquaculture.-VNA