General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee and President Nguyen Phu Trong (R) and Indian President Ram Nath Kovind (Source: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee and President Nguyen Phu Trong welcomed the first visit by Indian President Ram Nath Kovind during their talks in Hanoi on November 20. 

The host said the visit is a vivid manifestation of the long-standing friendship founded by Prime Minister Jawarhalal Nehru and President Ho Chi Minh and fostered by generations of leaders and the people of the two countries. 

Kovind expressed his delight at visiting Vietnam, his first destination in Southeast Asia since he took office in July 2017. 

Both sides shared the view that bilateral ties are growing strongly in diverse areas, especially since the establishment of the strategic partnership in 2007 and the upgrade of bilateral ties to the level of a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2016. 

They agreed to fully deliver on high-level political commitments and those in adopted political framework documents, and to further tap into potential and advantages– including the Action Plan of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for the 2017-2020 period – so as to deepen bilateral links. 

The two countries will also facilitate all-level visits and step up coordination via the Party, State, Government, National Assembly and local channels, as well as people-to-people exchange. 

As India is now one of the top 10 trade partners of Vietnam, host and guest together believed that two-way trade will soon hit 15 billion USD. 

They suggested increasing trade promotion, especially in energy, renewable energies, and high-quality agriculture, and encouraged the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group and the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation of India to actively explore oil and gas in Vietnam, as well as seek cooperation models with third countries. 

The two sides agreed on the importance of promoting connectivity and accelerating procedures to help Vietjet soon launch its direct flights between Ho Chi Minh City and New Delhi. 

Host and guest spoke highly of activities launched by each country’s cultural research centre in Hanoi and New Delhi. 

The Indian President thanked Vietnam for holding activities celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi this year and the annual International Day of Yoga. 

Impressed by his visit to My Son sanctuary, the UNESCO-recognised world cultural heritage site, Kovind lauded the joint work to effectively launch a project on preserving the relic site. 

The Vietnamese leader hailed India’s support for the Cham community, including the building of Cham community houses and schools, as well as Cham cultural studies in the central province of Ninh Thuan.

The two leaders affirmed to continue their support for the localities, friendship and people’s organisations, and scholars and researchers of the two countries towards enhancing collaboration and creating favourable conditions for their press agencies to increase activities in each nation.

The two sides agreed to maintain the annual exchange of youth delegations to enable younger generations of the two countries to explore each other’s histories and cultures.

The Indian side pledged to continue providing scholarships for Vietnam through the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme and the Cultural Exchange Programme’s General Cultural Scholarship Scheme (CEP/GCSS), as well as those for students and postgraduates from ASEAN countries to pursue doctoral courses in India.

Host and guest hailed the defence-security cooperation as strategic, effective, and practical, and agreed to step up collaboration and support in training human resources and realising the affiliation between the two nations’ armed services.

The Indian side said it is willing to share its experience in organising and training UN peacekeeping forces, as well as assisting Vietnam in addressing its post-war consequences.

The two sides applauded the implementation of a 100 million USD credit package to build high-speed patrol vessels for Vietnam’s border guards and agreed to soon organise the first marine security dialogue.

Party General Secretary and President Trong spoke highly of India’s important role and voice at international forums. The two sides affirmed to continue close coordination and mutual support at multilateral forums, particularly the United Nations. They also consented to support each other in their bids to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2020-2021 (for Vietnam) and 2021-2022 (for India).

The Indian President stressed that Vietnam is a pillar in its “Act East” policy, as well as a key partner of the country in ASEAN.

The Vietnamese leader welcomed India’s stance on the East Sea issue over the years, suggesting the South Asian nation continue backing the policies of Vietnam and ASEAN regarding this issue.

After the talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of numerous documents, including a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Vietnamese Ministry of Information and Communications and the Indian Ministry of Communications on cooperation in the communications sector, and another between the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics in Hanoi and the New Delhi-based Jawarhalal Nehru University on collaboration in academic research and exchange of lecturers and students.

The Department of External Affairs under the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Indian Chamber of Commerce (INCHAM) in Vietnam inked a MoU on creating channels to boost the investment and business climate in Vietnamese localities, while another agreement was also signed between the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the All India Association of Industries on stepping up bilateral trade and investment collaboration. –VNA