Vietnamese Ambassador to India Ton Sinh Thanh (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The comprehensive strategic partnership between Vietnam and India is enjoying dynamic and substantive development, according to Vietnamese Ambassador to India Ton Sinh Thanh.

The ambassador granted an interview to the media on the Vietnam-India ties on the occasion of the 30th Diplomatic Conference to be held from August 12-17 in Hanoi.

Ambassador Thanh said there are four outstanding points in the two countries’ relationship during the past two years.

First of all, the bilateral political relationship and mutual trust have been strengthened thanks to the constant exchange of high-level visits. During the visits, the two countries have signed 17 more agreements on cooperation across the fields.

Second, defence-security cooperation has reached the highest level ever, with its scope covering all military forces and the content expanded beyond information sharing and training to the production of military equipment. The two countries also conducted their first joint naval exercise. India has become the most important defence cooperative partner of Vietnam, the ambassador said.

Third, economic partnership has thrived with two-way trade registering an impressive growth of more than 40 percent, from 5.6 billion USD in 2016 to 7.6 billion USD in 2017. Ambassador Thanh cited statistics of Vietnam customs that showed bilateral trade turnover touched 5.44 billion USD in the first half of the year, rising 48 percent on a yearly basis. On this pace, the figure for 2018 is expected to surpass 10 billion USD. 

Fourth, cultural diplomacy is booming on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties and 10th year of the strategic partnership between the two countries. Besides such activities as the Vietnam Culture Days, photo and painting exhibitions, film festival and art performances, a Vietnam Book space was set up in India for the first time ever, and a Vietnam Study Centre was established in New Delhi.

Ambassador Thanh underlined the role of the Vietnamese Embassy in India in bolstering bilateral relations across the fields.

He said the embassy has organized many trade, investment and tourism promotion events to introduce Vietnam to potential Indian partners, while engaging in addressing problems hindering bilateral economic cooperation.

Thanh noted that the embassy has played a part in the opening of a direct flight service between Ho Chi Minh City and New Delhi by Vietjet Air, which is scheduled for October this year. An Indian airline, the Indigo also has a plan to open a direct route to Vietnam next year.

The ambassador said the Vietnam-India relationship has a firm foundation, which is the mutual trust based on shared strategic interests and great potential for cooperation. He expressed the belief that there is a bright prospect ahead for the bilateral partnership.-VNA