Chief Minister of the eastern Indian state of Bihar, Jitan Ram Manjihi, pushed for stronger cooperation with Vietnam on farming, fisheries, food processing, education and tourism in a meeting with the visiting Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on October 27.

Manjihi proposed the establishment of a direct air route between Vietnam and Bihar state, organising a business forum on tourism in Bodh Gaya city in early 2015, and undertaking a business trip to Vietnam to seek investment opportunities.

The PM, on his part, agreed with the host’s proposals, adding that his visit aimed to improve the strategic partnership with India across the board.

He said he was pleased to visit Bodh Gaya city, a well-known religious site and place of pilgrimage in Bihar state.

He suggested India grant visas to Vietnamese citizens at Bodh Gaya international airport, making it easier for Vietnamese Buddhists and tourists to visit the site.

Vietnam is home to 12 million Buddhist followers. Meanwhile, Bodh Gaya welcomes hundreds of thousands of Buddhists and tourists from all over the world, including from Vietnam, he said.

Later that day, the PM arrived in New Delhi for the second leg of his official visit at the invitation of his Indian counterpart Narenda Modi.

Upon arrival, he met with the executives of leading Indian businesses, including Tata Group, Jet Airways, Essar, and IL&FS.-VNA