President Tran Dai Quang and his spouse will pay a State visit to India from March 2-4 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – President Tran Dai Quang and his spouse will pay a State visit to India from March 2-4 at the invitation of Indian President Ram Nath Kovind. 

The visit takes place at a time when the Vietnam – India traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation have been developing extensively, affirming that Vietnam consistently pursues an external policy of independence, self-reliance, multilateralisation and diversification of international ties, including attaching importance to the friendship with India.

The two sides established a strategic partnership in 2007 and lifted it to a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2016.

On political ties, they conducted the exchange of high-level delegations and cooperation mechanisms such as the Vietnam – India Inter-Governmental Committee on Scientific-Technological and Cultural-Education Cooperation, political consultations and strategic dialogues between the two foreign ministries.

Bilateral national defence-security links keep improving with the upgrade of national defence dialogue from deputy ministerial into ministerial level in June 2016 and the establishment of a national defence dialogue mechanism in 2003. Extended defence ties were seen in naval, ground and air forces with a focus on training, defence industry and vessel visits.

Economic and trade ties are considered one of the pillars in bilateral relations by the two governments. India is among Vietnam’s top 10 trade partners of Vietnam while Vietnam is a top priority in India’s Look East policy.

Two-way trade was estimated at 7.5 billion USD in 2017, up 37.7 percent annually. As of late November 2017, India registered capital of 756 million USD in Vietnam, ranking 28th out of 126 countries and territories investing in the country. Vietnam currently invests in seven projects worth 6.15 million USD in India.

India is assisting Vietnam in personnel training in many fields via providing scholarships and establishing training centres in Hanoi, the central city of Da Nang and Nha Trang city in Khanh Hoa province.

The two nations signed a cultural exchange programme for 2015-2017 and held exchanges, fairs and exhibitions to popularise culture and tourism. They also signed a memorandum of understanding on establishing Nalanda University to pave the way for further Buddhism cooperation, while India opened the India Cultural Centre in Hanoi to popularise Bollywood movies, yoga and Buddhism.

India transferred technologies to Vietnam and boosted technical coordination in the fields of remote sensing, nano, bio and information technology, oceanography and climate change.

Vietnam and India have offered mutual support in multilateral forums, especially at the United Nations. As coordinator in the India-ASEAN partnership for 2015-2018, Vietnam supports India’s “Act East” policy, and its initiatives to boost regional connectivity, especially Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam and Mekong Ganga Cooperation.-VNA