Vietnamese delegation at the event (Photo: VNA)
New Delhi (VNA) – Vietnam and India held their 8th political consultation session and 5th deputy foreign ministerial strategic dialogue in New Delhi on August 2.

Deputy Foreign Minister Vu Hong Nam and Secretary (East) of the Ministry of External Affairs Preeti Saran chaired the events.

The two sides acknowledged positive strides in relations across politics, economics, defence-security, science-technology, culture, tourism and people-to-people exchanges.

They highlighted the significance of high-level visits of the two countries’ leaders, especially the upcoming tour to Vietnam by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Vietnam and India agreed to prepare for the 45 th anniversary of diplomatic relations and the 10th anniversary of their strategic partnership.

The two sides discussed propelling the strategic partnership forward and agreed to maintain sound defence-security relations through information exchanges and technological transfers.

They suggested measures to push two-way trade towards 15 billion USD in the future such as studying the removal of trade barriers based on free trade agreements signed by the two countries.

India agreed to make it easier for Vietnamese products like coffee, rubber, cashew nut, tea, dragon fruit and tra fish to enter India.

Vietnamese and Indian businesses were encouraged to increase investment in the respective countries.

India said its major companies as well as small-and medium-sized enterprises are interested in the Vietnamese market and are carrying out projects in garment-textiles, tea processing, coffee, energy, infrastructure, and information technology in the Southeast Asian nation.

Vietnam was welcomed to explore investment in India, especially through initiatives like “Make In India”, “Digital India”, and “100 smart cities”.

The two sides agreed to enhance their partnership through preferential credit packages and capacity improvement within the bilateral cooperation framework and ASEAN-India collaboration.

They stressed the need to foster connectivity in aviation and navigation as well as in digital, information, telecommunication and databases while launching direct flights between the two countries and opening transport routes between sea ports.

Deputy Foreign Minister Vu Hong Nam said Vietnam is part of a plan to connect highways between India, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Vietnam hopes India and ASEAN will soon agree on conditions for the disbursement of the one billion USD credit package that India pledged to provide for ASEAN member nations for this connectivity project.

Both nations lauded their mutual assistance at regional and international forums, especially the United Nations and ASEAN.

India confirmed its support for promoting the central role of the bloc in Asia-Pacific.

Vietnam hailed the Act East Policy of India and promised to do its utmost as a coordinator of ASEAN-India relations to develop the partnership.

Regarding the East Sea issue, both nations called on involved parties to solve disputes via peaceful means and international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

They also called for exercising self-restraint and taking no actions to complicate the situation such as militarisation and use or threaten to use force, while implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and reaching a Code of Conduct in the East Sea soon.

The same day, Deputy FM Nam met with Indian Minister of State V.K. Singh, during which the host said India considers Vietnam a focus in its Act East Policy.-VNA