A number of articles highlighting the traditional friendship and strategic partnership between Vietnam and India were released in a special issue of Indian NAM Today magazine on the occasion of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s India visit.

Dung will attend the Commemorative Summit marking the 20th anniversary of the ASEAN-India dialogue partnership from December 20-21.

In his article, Professor Patasani, an Indian parliamentarian, stressed that despite the geographical distance between the two countries, Vietnam and India are very aware of the necessary cooperation in various fields in both a regional and global scales.

Over recent years, the relationship between the two countries has developed strongly in the interest of both nations, he said. Vietnam supported India ’s use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and its bids to join the UN Security Council, while India backed Vietnam ’s entry into the World Trade Organisation.

The relationship with Vietnam is important from a political, economic and strategic point of view as well, he said.

According to Patasani , Vietnam is an important Southeast Asian partner to India . The two sides have closely coordinated at various forums.

The partnership will create favourable conditions for both sides to promote bilateral relations, and give strength to each country’s involvement in regional and global challenges, for the benefit of both sides without harming third parties, the article said.

The impending visit of Prime Minister Dung will affirm Vietnam ’s policy of prioritising the strategic partnership with India . It will strengthen bilateral cooperation in all fields as well as at regional and international forums, the article added.

Two-way trade between Vietnam and India increased from 50 million USD in 1991 to over 2.7 billion USD in 2011, and hit 1.8 billion USD in the first half of this year. The two sides are striving for 7 billion USD in trade by 2015. India is also an important investor in Vietnam with many businesses operating in the country.

Over recent years, Vietnam and India have fostered cultural and tourism links by organising various joint programmes.-VNA