The Vietnamese Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Indian Department of Space will promote cooperation in remote sensing and outer space technology via joint projects in human resources training and in applying remote sensing technology.

The two sides made the joint decision during working sessions between a delegation of the Vietnamese ministry, which made a three-day visit to India recently, and officials from India’s Ministry of External Affairs, Department of Space, and Space Research Organisation.

A cooperation agreement between Vietnam’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and India’s Department of Space was also discussed by the two sides.

The two sides reviewed preparations for establishing a centre for satellite tracking and data reception and processing for ASEAN – to be located in Vietnam, as part of the ASEAN-India cooperation framework.

After three years of preparation, the project has been approved by the ASEAN Secretariat and the Indian Government, with a total budget of 23 million USD sourced from the ASEAN-India cooperation fund.

The two sides agreed to jointly survey the suitable location for the station – expected to be in Ho Chi Minh City, and build a feasible report while training Vietnamese personnel to operate the centre.

India will pay for the installation and operation costs for the project in the first five years, and supply remote sensing images free of charge to ASEAN member states for five years.

The Vietnamese delegation also held a meeting with India’s Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, during which the two sides concurred on building bilateral cooperative projects on climate change and biodiversity conservation.-VNA