The newly-elected Indian Government continues to regard Vietnam as a pillar in its Look East policy, said Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj in talks with Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh on August 25 during her visit to Hanoi.

Minh affirmed that Vietnam has always treasured its long-standing friendship and strategic partnership with India and supports the country’s Look East policy and stronger ties with Southeast Asia.

He said Vietnam welcomes Indian President Pranab Mukherjee’s upcoming visit to Vietnam.

Both sides expressed their pleasure with the enhanced bilateral relations, particularly in the pillars of their strategic partnership, including politics, economy, defence, security, science and technology, culture and education.

In addition to the aforementioned areas, they also highlighted the need to continue improving economic ties in an effort to raise two-way trade to 7 billion USD by 2015 and 15 billion USD by 2020 as agreed by the two countries’ high-ranking leaders.

The two officials agreed to increase the number and frequency of delegations at all levels via all channels available.

They agreed on the need to promote the efficiency of bilateral cooperation mechanisms, such as the Intergovernmental Committee on Economic, Scientific, Technological, Cultural and Educational Cooperation; security and defence dialogue; and political consultation between the two foreign ministries.

Both sides are also committed to facilitating the collaboration of businesses in their respective fields of strength.

Minh said Vietnam welcomes Indian investment in the energy, processing, and construction sectors, as well as in the field of medicine.

Both parties applauded Indian Jet Airways’ plan to open a direct air route between the two countries in November 2014, adding that the launch of this route will facilitate their joint economic, trade, cultural and tourism activities.

During their talks, the ministers exchanged their views on global issues of mutual concern while avowing reciprocal support in regional and international forums, such as those between ASEAN and India, the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and the United Nations.

They also touched upon recent developments in the East Sea and agreed on the importance of ensuring peace, stability, security, and safety of navigation in these waters.

Minh and Swaraj highlighted the importance of the peaceful settlement of East Sea disputes in line with international law, including the 1982 United National Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982); and a full and serious implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) towards the early completion of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).-VNA