The Vietnam-India People’s Friendship Festival opened in Hanoi on Sept. 19 to promote friendship, cooperation and development between the Vietnamese and Indian people.

Hoang Van Phong, President of the Vietnam-India Friendship Association, delivered an opening speech, reviewing the two countries’ long lasting traditional ties that were established by President Ho Chi Minh and President Jawaharlal Nehru.

Friendship and cooperation between the two countries have developed strongly in all fields, especially since they established a strategic partnership in July 2007, Phong said.

He expressed his hope that the two countries will continue their mutually beneficial relations in the future to meet the aspirations of both nations and peoples.

Apart from implementing cooperation on politics, economics, culture, education, the exchange of delegations between localities and mass organisations has been increased in terms of quantity and quality.

Following friendship festivals in 2007, 2008 and 2009, this year’s event is of important significance, Phong said, adding it takes place amidst the two countries’ preparations to celebrate the 40 th anniversary of diplomatic ties (January 7, 1972 - January 7, 2012) and to welcome Vietnam-India Friendship Year 2012.

General Secretary of the All-India Peace and Solidarity Organisation (AIPSO) Reddy Yadav Komplally, who heads an Indian delegation to the festival, affirmed the fourth festival would continue to make a contribution to enhancing friendship between two countries.

He highly praised Vietnam ’s economic achievements in its process of modernisation and provided a briefing on India ’s socio-economic achievements.
The 2007 strategic partnership agreement between the two countries was a milestone in increasing and expanding ties in many fields between India and Vietnam , the AIPSO General Secretary said.

During the festival, which runs until September 24, a wide range of activities will be held, including artistic performances and seminars./.