Source: VNA

Hanoi (VNA) – The Embassy of India in Vietnam hosted a ceremony to celebrate the 71st anniversary of India’s Independence Day (August 15, 1947) in Hanoi on August 15.

The event was attended by Indian Ambassador to Vietnam Harish Parvathaneni; Chairman of the National Assembly’s Ethnic Affairs Committee and Chairman of the Vietnam-India Parliamentary Friendship Group Ha Ngoc Chien; Deputy Foreign Minister Le Hoai Trung; and Vice President of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha Most Venerable Thich Duc Thien.

In his remarks at the event, Ambassador Parvathaneni reminded his guests of the history of Vietnam-India relations which date back more than 2,000 years ago when Indian merchants and monks came to Vietnam to trade goods and spread the teaching of Buddhism.

The two nations lifted their ties to the level of Comprehensive Strategic Partnership during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Vietnam in September 2016, which has brought new impetus to the expansion of the bilateral cooperation in many fields, he said.

The two countries’ leaders have identified strong economic cooperation as a key factor driving the bilateral relations, the ambassador noted, highlighting the mutual goal of raising two-way trade to 15 billion USD by 2020.

Parvathaneni said he is pleased to know that Indian enterprises have more business opportunities in Vietnam, particularly in the areas of energy, petroleum, agriculture and agricultural processing, banking, textiles and garment, engineering, and services. Vietnam and India have also co-held a number of cultural exchange events, notably a series of Yoga Day events across Vietnamese cities and provinces this year.

He moved on to say ASEAN is the centre of India’s Act East Policy, with Vietnam as a key pillar of the grouping. For this reason, Vietnam has made it possible for India to gain access to other ASEAN member states, contributing to the success of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit earlier this year. He vowed to further foster the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two nations.

Deputy FM Le Hoai Trung, for his part, said Vietnamese people are proud to have a loyal friend like India, noting that political trust has been proven through high-level visits between the two sides.

Indian FM Sushma Swaraj will visit Vietnam and co-chair the 16th meeting of the Vietnam-India intergovernmental committee later this month, he said, adding that he expects the two countries will continue working closely and supporting each other at international forums and organisations.

He expressed his belief in the bright future of long-standing relations and Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between Vietnam and India, for the benefit of the two peoples as well as the peace, stability, and prosperity of the region and the world. –VNA