Indian President Pranab Mukherjee’s ongoing visit to Vietnam will bring the countries’ relationship to a new height, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said.

During their meeting in Hanoi on September 15, the PM said the Vietnamese Government wished to develop the traditional friendship and strategic partnership between the two countries further, in a deep and effective manner that benefitted both peoples.

He suggested the two sides continue to strengthen diplomatic ties, cooperation and mutual support at multilateral forums, particularly at the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement and East Asia Summit.

Vietnam and India strive to increase bilateral trade to 15 billion USD by 2020, up from 8 billion at present, he said.

He affirmed the Vietnamese Government would create favourable conditions for Indian firms to invest in Vietnam, including in oil, gas and electricity, whilst accelerating the launch of the direct air route between the two countries soon.

PM Dung said the Vietnamese Government supported its cooperation with India on national security and military technology, and was keen to boost the relationship in the fields of science-technology, culture, education-training and people-to-people exchanges, which would promote friendship and understanding between the two peoples, he said.

The Vietnamese leader thanked the Indian PM Narendra Modi for his invitation, saying that during his upcoming visit to India in October the two prime ministers would continue to discuss the general orientation and concrete measures for boosting bilateral ties in all fields.

Dung expressed the gratitude of the Party, State and people of Vietnam for the Indian government and people’s support for Vietnam’s national liberation and the ongoing process of nation-building and national defence.

Affirming the sound development of the traditional friendship and strategic partnership between Vietnam and India, President Mukherjee said his current visit was a chance for both sides to discuss the general orientation of the development of bilateral ties in the future.

Emphasising the goals set by the new Indian government to promote economic growth, accelerate production, attract investment, and generate jobs, Mukherjee said India was willing to share its experiences and cooperate with Vietnam in the fields of oil and gas, electricity, information technology, agricultural product processing, pharmaceuticals, garments and tourism.

He said he firmly believed in the achievement of 15 billion USD in bilateral trade and encouraged Vietnamese businesses to operate in his country.

In this spirit, India was looking forward to welcoming PM Dung to India in October on his official visit, the President said, regarding it as a new milestone that would bring the Indian-Vietnamese comprehensive and strategic cooperation to the next level.-VNA