Vietnam, India should early define cooperation directions to 2020: official hinh anh 1Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son (R) meets with India’s Minister of State for External Affairs Vijay Kumar Singh on April 21 (Photo: VNA)  

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam and India should early sign an action programme on implementing the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership, which was set up in 2016, thus defining orientations for bilateral cooperation in 2017-2020, Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son said.

He made the request at a meeting on April 21 with India’s Minister of State for External Affairs Vijay Kumar Singh, who is on an official visit to Vietnam from April 20-23. 

The Deputy FM said with the action programme, the two sides can reach measures for boosting cooperation in such prioritised areas as defence-security, trade and investment, energy, capacity building, technology transfer, and scientific research.

Son welcomed Vijay Kumar Singh’s visit to attend the first activities of the Vietnam-India Friendship Year 2017, which marks 45 years of the countries’ diplomatic ties (January 7, 1972) and 10 years of their strategic partnership (July 6, 2007).

Both sides noted with satisfaction the progress in their countries’ relations over the past four and a half decades, particularly the elevation of bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s official visit to Vietnam in September last year.

They agreed that the foreign ministries will keep good coordination to organise major diplomatic activities in the Vietnam-India Friendship Year 2017, including delegation exchanges at all levels between the two States, Governments and parliaments, as well as between the people.

For his part, Minister of State Vijay Kumar Singh appreciated the contributions Vietnam has made as the coordinator of ASEAN-India relations for 2015-2018.

He noted Vietnam and India have made significant strides in bilateral ties as seen in the signing of important agreements in defence, atomic energy, cosmology, and information technology.

India will work with Vietnamese ministries and sectors to prepare for mutual high-ranking visits well and speed up the approval and disbursement of credit packages for Vietnam, he added.

The two sides agreed on the need to tap potentials and enhance economic, trade and investment partnership, striving to boost two-way trade to 15 billion USD by 2020. They urged the joint sub-committee on trade to convene as soon as possible to promote investment.

Vietnam welcomes Indian investment in energy, oil and gas exploitation, petro-chemistry, software development and IT training, textile and garment, and banking, Deputy FM Son said.

At the meeting, the two sides also exchanged viewpoints on regional and international issues of mutual concern. They were unanimous in maintaining coordination and mutual support at regional and international forums such as ASEAN-India cooperation, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and forums within the framework of the United Nations.

Regarding the East Sea issue, they reiterated the wish and determination to cooperate to maintain peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea on the basis of international law, especially principles in the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

They underscored the importance of due respect for the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), voicing the hope that relevant parties will soon reach a Code of Conduct (COC) in the waters.-VNA