Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi (Source: VNA) 
 
New Delhi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi have expressed their delight at the strong development of bilateral ties since the establishment of comprehensive strategic partnership during Modi’s Vietnam visit in September 2016.

They engaged in talks in New Delhi on January 24 during PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s trip to attend the ASEAN – India Commemorative Summit and a ceremony celebrating the 69th anniversary of Republic Day of India.

Both said that activities during the Friendship Year 2017 contributed to promoting the two countries’ all-around ties, especially in culture, tourism and people-to-people exchange.

They agreed to regularly maintain all-level visits via the Party, government, National Assembly and local channels and people-to-people exchange, and soon hold the next meeting of the ministerial-level Inter-Governmental Committee in the first half of 2018 to outline specific measures to realise the Action Programme for the 2017-2020 period.

Describing national defence-security link as an important pillar of the bilateral ties, the PMs suggested further intensifying trustworthy and effective collaboration in the field.

PM Phuc wished that India would continue assisting Vietnam in capacity-building and English language improvement, technology transfer and credit supply for national defence.

The Indian PM welcomed the continued exchange of delegations, the maintenance of national defence-security cooperation mechanisms and requested actively launching several credit packages as agreed.

In order to achieve the target of 15 billion USD in two-way trade by 2020, they asked the Inter-Subcommittee on Trade to convene a meeting early this year to discuss measures, with a focus on stepping up airline and maritime connectivity and gradually removing trade barriers to facilitate exports and imports.

The Vietnamese leader pledged to create favourable conditions for Indian enterprises to enhance economic and trade links, especially in fields of India’s strengths and Vietnam’s demand such as infrastructure, information technology, mechanical engineering, energy, and the construction of industrial and high-tech agriculture areas.

Modi asked for Vietnam’s support for Indian businesses operating in oil and gas, renewable energy and pharmaceuticals.

PM Phuc spoke highly of non-refundable official development assistance and preferential credit that India has provided for Vietnam over the past years. He also thanked India for continuing to supply scholarships to Vietnam.

Modi vowed to enhance Vietnam’s capacity via the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme, the Mekong – Ganga Cooperation, the Quick Impact Projects, actively consider increasing long-term scholarships to Vietnamese students in prestigious Indian universities, as well as help Vietnam build several vocational training centres.

The two sides consented to working closely together in multilateral forums, particularly within the United Nations framework.

As Coordinator of the ASEAN-Indian relations for the 2015-2018 period, Vietnam is willing to partner with India to increase multifaceted links with ASEAN, the Vietnamese PM said.

On the East Sea issue, host and guest highlighted the importance of peace, stability, safety, maritime and aviation security and freedom, the peaceful settlement of disputes with respect to international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. They called for formulating an effective and legally-binding Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

PM Phuc highly valued India’s stance on the East Sea issue and welcomed India’s further coordination in oil and gas exploration and exploitation in Vietnam’s economic exclusive zone and continental shelf.

He stated that Vietnam is ready to work with India and other ASEAN member states to step up maritime security coordination in important meetings in the region.

Following the talks, the two PMs witnessed the hand-over of cooperation agreements between the Vietnamese Ministry of Information and Communications and the Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and between the National Remote Sensing Department of Vietnam and the Indian Space Research Organisation.-VNA