Vietnamese Ambassador to India Ton Sinh Thanh (R). (Source: VNA)

New Delhi (VNA) – The upcoming State visit to India by Vietnam’s President Tran Dai Quang, from March 2-4, is expected to help promote cooperation between the two countries, while deepening ties in national defence and security, said Vietnamese Ambassador to India Ton Sinh Thanh.

The visit will also expand bilateral collaboration in economy, investment, tourism, cultural exchange and better tap potential for cooperation in education and technology, the diplomat told a Vietnamese News Agency correspondent in India.

The trip will be a new and important milestone in bilateral cooperation, he noted.

This is the first visit to India by a Vietnamese President following the visit by then President Truong Tan Sang in 2011.

The visit demonstrates the importance Vietnamese leaders have attached to India and their attention to Vietnam-India relations, Ambassador Thanh stressed.

It offers an opportunity for leaders of the two countries to assess past cooperation and outline plans to step up the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership, he said.

The two sides will take the occasion to review the 2017 Vietnam-India Friendship Year  and prepare for activities within the framework of the “Vietnamese Cultural Days in India” programme marking the 46th anniversary of diplomatic ties in 2018, according to the ambassador.

Thanh emphasised that over the years, the strategic partnership between Vietnam and India has developed strongly and political trust has been consolidated through the regular exchange of high-level visits.

He cited five major visits by Vietnamese leaders to India over the past half a decade, made by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong in 2013, then Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in 2014, National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan in December 2016, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh in July 2017 and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in January 2018.

On the Indian side, Thanh listed visits to Vietnam by then Indian President Pranab Mukhrjee in 2014 and PM Modi in 2016.

Besides, the two sides have maintained cooperation mechanisms, especially political consultations and strategic dialogues between Foreign Ministries, and dialogues between Defence Ministries, contributing to enhancing cooperation and coordination between the two countries at international forums, the ambassador said.

He added that Vietnam and India have also effectively partnered in national defence and security.

Notably, after lifting the strategic partnership to a comprehensive strategic partnership, Vietnam and India signed an action programme during Deputy PM Minh’s visit to India in 2017 aiming to materialise the comprehensive strategic partnership.

Also last year, Vietnam and India held many activities celebrating the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties, which, the ambassador said, contributed to boosting the friendship, cultural cooperation and people-to-people exchange between the two countries.

Asked about prospects for Vietnam-India cooperation following the recent India visit by PM Phuc and the upcoming visit by President Quang, Ambassador Thanh said they are bright.

He explained that the Vietnam-India relationship has a firm foundation created by historical and cultural links and fostered by generations of the two countries’ leaders.

Apart from political trust, the two sides share many similarities and strategic interests, he added.

Moreover, as economies with dynamic and fast growth, both Vietnam and India have substantial potential. The two countries are also pushing reform and optimising opportunities generated by the global value chain.

“I firmly believe that the Vietnam-India relationship will thrive in the years to come,” the ambassador said.-VNA