President Tran Dai Quang (L) is welcomed by Indian President Ram Nath Kovind at an offical welcoming ceremony in New Delhi on March 3 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The increasing development of Vietnam – India relations across fields was highlighted in an article recently published on the Diplomat magazine of India on the occasion of Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang’s State visit to the Central Asian country from March 2-4.

The article affirmed the Vietnamese leader’s visit is a good follow up to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Vietnam in 2016.

Vietnam is a key element of India’s “Act East Policy” – one of the mainstays of Indian foreign policy under the Modi Government, which aims to bolster India’s closer engagement with Southeast Asia and East Asia, it noted.

“Vietnam is important for India’s outreach efforts in the Southeast Asian region, besides New Delhi’s plans for increasing its connectivity with the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)”, the article said.

According to the Diplomat, India is constructing the India-Myanmar-Thailand highway, which is expected to be completed by 2019; and this could be linked up with pre-existing roads, all the way to Vietnam. 

However, there are still challenges facing the Vietnam-India relations, it said.
It added that there is much for the two sides to ponder over in their economic cooperation. Though the two sides have set a bilateral trade target of 15 billion USD by 2020, but this is a modest goal as comparing with the total trade between Vietnam and China in 2017, which stood at 93.8 billion USD.

The Diplomat also pointed out the underdevelopment in people-to-people ties between the two countries as the number of tourists from Vietnam to India and vice versa is nothing much to crow about.

During his stay, President Tran Dai Quang is scheduled to visit Bodh Gaya, which is significant given the Buddhist connection between the two countries, it noted.

“While India’s ties with Vietnam have been progressing fast on all fronts, it is important for both the sides to address the challenges confronting the relationship in order for it to reach its full potential”, the article stressed.-VNA