India's enhanced presence in the region will help to stabilise Southeast Asia, Vietnamese Ambassador to India Nguyen Thanh Tan said.

“We hope that India under the new government will expand its presence in the ASEAN region to balance rise of other powers,” he said, adding the country can “play role of a balancer as it has no ambitions in the region.”

In a recent interview granted to the Economic Times, the ambassador reminded Indian representatives’ presence at the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) and Shangrila Dialogue.

This highlights that the current Indian government wants to pursue vigorous Look East Policy, Tan affirmed, adding that “Vietnam is confident that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will pursue a robust Look East Policy following the footsteps of his predecessors.”

Ambassador Tan affirmed strong ties between Vietnam and India founded by President Ho Chi Minh and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

Vietnam is looking forward to host President Pranab Mukherjee to Vietnam in the second half this year, Tan said, hoping for the signing of important agreements across various sectors including security and economy during that trip.

According to the diplomat, Vietnam presents huge investment opportunities to India and hopes India will take advantage of that. India has invested in various areas in Vietnam, including oil and gas, electricity and steel manufacturing.

The direct flight from India to Vietnam will hopefully be launched this year while the return direct flight will be launched in 2015, Tan said.

India and Vietnam hope to conclude a memorandum of understanding in defence shortly following which India would offer a 100 million USD credit for purchase of maritime patrol boats.

The two countries are also working towards another 100 million USD credit for boosting economic needs.

Besides, they are working towards boost tourism with a hope of attracting 500,000 Indian tourists annually to Vietnam after launching direct flights.-VNA