President Tran Dai Quang hails political relations with India hinh anh 1President of Vietnam Tran Dai Quang (Photo: VNA)

New Delhi (VNA) – President Tran Dai Quang has hailed the political relations between Vietnam and India as it has grown through regular mutual visits made at various channels and levels.

He granted an interview to "The Times of India" newspaper on his upcoming visit to the Republic of India from March 2-4.

The following is the full text of the interview which was published on February 28:

Q: India and Vietnam have just completed the Year of Friendship to celebrate 45 years of establishment of diplomatic ties, ten years of the Strategic Partnership and one year of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. What is your evaluation of India - Vietnam relations?

President Tran Dai Quang: Vietnam and India have enjoyed a long-standing traditional friendship with various historical and cultural similarities, which was established by President Ho Chi Minh and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and nurtured by successive generations of leaders and people of both countries. The two nations have empathized and supported each other in their struggle for national independence in the past as well as in the national construction and development today.

With trust and many shared interests, the two countries established the Strategic Partnership in July 2007 and upgraded it to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in September 2016. This fine relationship has been concretized in various fields, especially the pillars of politics, national defense, security, economy, trade, investment, culture, science and technology, education and training and people-to-people exchange.

The bilateral political relations have gone from strength to strength thanks to regular mutual visits at the high and lower levels through party-to-party, state-to-state, government-to-government, parliament-to-parliament as well as people-to-people exchanges. The General Secretary, President, Prime Minister and President of the National Assembly of Viet Nam have all visited India. Vietnam also hosted the visits of the President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Speaker of the Lok Sabha and National Security Advisor of India. Practical commemorative activities have been hosted by both countries to celebrate the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations and 10 years of the Strategic Partnership.

[Economy should shape Vietnam-India relations]

Bilateral cooperation mechanisms, including the Action Plan 2017-2020, have been effectively implemented, thus facilitating the enhancement of the bilateral cooperation in various areas.

Defense and security have been the effective strategic areas of cooperation. India has actively supported Vietnam in training, capacity building, defense technology transfer, and defense credit.

India continued to be among Vietnam's top ten largest trading partners as the bilateral trade turnover has increased 16 percent per annum on average in the past decade. A large number of major Indian firms have established and expanded their footprints in Vietnam.

India has given priority to Vietnam in development cooperation and education and training, and paid attention to promoting the bilateral cooperation in science and technology, information and communication, energy, oil and gas, agriculture and tourism.

The cultural bonds and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries have also deepened. A large population of Vietnamese are watching Indian dramas and practicing yoga.

Apart from the bilateral frameworks, both countries have also forged close collaboration and effective mutual support at multilateral fora, especially at the United Nations. Vietnam welcomes India's efforts in and strong commitments to its "Act East" policy as well as to enhancing the connectivity and development cooperation with ASEAN. As the coordinator of ASEAN-India relations for 2015-2018, Vietnam has worked closely with India to drive the India-ASEAN cooperation further forward.

Q: What's your assessment of India's Act East Policy and how significant is it for you and ASEAN as a whole?

President Tran Dai Quang: Vietnam has on many occasions affirmed our strong support for India's "Act East" policy and for your country to play a more active role in the maintenance of peace, stability and prosperity in the region and the world.

ASEAN countries and India share many similarities in culture, history and strategic interests. Both sides need to strengthen and deepen the Strategic Partnership, promote economic, trade and investment cooperation development, increase cooperation on land, air, maritime and digital connectivity, and promote cultural and people-to-people exchange.

The implementation of the "Act East" Policy will help deepen the ASEAN - India Strategic Partnership and fulfill the practical interests of both sides. It will also promote the establishment of a sustainable and inclusive regional architecture based on international law, thus contributing to an environment of peace, stability, cooperation and development. Vietnam and ASEAN will work closely with India in all areas to realize our common goals of a bright future for the Indo-Asia-Pacific.”-VNA