A majority of delegates to an international conference in India have hailed Vietnam’s pillar role in the “Look East” policy which has transformed into the “Act East” under the leadership of new Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The conference themed “Indian Look East-Act East policy: A bridge to the Asian Neighbourhood” took place in the western state of Maharashtra on December 13-14, attracting scholars, former Indian ambassadors to Asia and representatives from 19 countries.

Vietnam values the Look East policy of India and wants to witness more of its presence in the region across all realms, Vietnamese Ambassador to India Ton Sinh Thanh addressed the conference.

Thanh praised the Look East policy since its launch over two decades ago, saying that India has been playing an increasingly important role in shaping regional security architecture and economic connectivity.

To bring the “Act East” policy into its fullness, the Ambassador suggested enhancing road, navigation and aviation connectivity between India and the East Asia region.

India should work closely with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and actively take part in cooperative mechanisms such as the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Regional Forum while accelerating negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and realising the ASEAN – India Free Trade Agreement.

He called on India to join efforts to deal with security challenges and hot spots in the region, support ASEAN and China in fully and effectively implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and drafting the Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

Participants urged for educational and cultural roles in northeast India being strengthened, and shared view that there remains a lot of room for India’s trade and investment promotion.-VNA