Your Excellency Madam Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh, Vice- President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Members of the Media,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you, Excellency, for your warm words of welcome and generous hospitality extended to me and my delegation. I would like to extend my wishes to the people of Vietnam for the auspicious day of Vesak which will be celebrated on Sunday. I bring warm greetings
from the Land of Buddha to the friendly people of Vietnam.
I am very happy to be visiting Vietnam, a civilisational friend and trusted partner, a strategic pillar of India’s Act East Policy and our key interlocutor in ASEAN. The exchange of high level visits from both the sides is a clear indication of the commitment
of the two countries to further strengthen our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
India and Vietnam, today, have a strong bilateral relationship based on mutual trust, understanding, convergence of views on regional and international issues.
Buddhism has been a strong bond uniting our two peoples and nations. Indians came to the shores of this beautiful country two millennia ago with the message of Lord Buddha, of peace and compassion. The remains of the Champa civilization attest to the exchanges
of people, goods, ideas and philosophies. I feel honoured to have been invited to deliver the keynote address this Sunday at the 16th UN Day of Vesak Celebrations in Ha Nam province.
My talks with Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh this morning, were extensive and productive. Our discussions covered the whole range of bilateral and multilateral cooperation. We have agreed to further strengthen our bilateral cooperation in defence and security,
peaceful uses of atomic energy and outer space, science and technology, oil and gas, renewable energy, infrastructure development, agriculture and innovation-based sectors.
The bilateral defence and security cooperation is robust and we are committed to further strengthen it. India is providing extensive and sustained training support to Vietnamese Armed Forces and the implementation of the Line of Credit of US Dollars 100 million
for building high speed patrol vessels for Vietnamese Border Guards is progressing satisfactorily. We also reviewed the implementation of the Line of Credit of US Dollars 500 million for defence industry cooperation announced during the visit of Prime Minister
Modi in 2016.
Our bilateral economic engagement during the last few years has immensely strengthened and we discussed means of facilitating our business and industry to harness the growing opportunities in our countries and in the region. Our bilateral trade stood at nearly
US Dollars 14 billion last year having nearly doubled from US Dollars 7.8 billion three years ago. I am confident that we will achieve our bilateral trade target of US Dollars 15 billion by 2020. I look forward to direct air connectivity between our two countries
and to the Indian civil aviation carrier Indigo starting direct flights between India and Vietnam later this year. This step would go a long way in boosting bilateral trade and tourism exchanges.
During our discussions this morning, we reiterated the importance of building a peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific region on the basis of respect for national sovereignty and international law. We hope that the concerned countries are able to reach consensus
on a Code of Conduct in South China Sea. We are both fully committed to an open, transparent, inclusive and rules-based regional architecture based on freedom of navigation and overflight, unimpeded economic activities and peaceful settlement of disputes in
accordance with the international law.
I look forward to my engagements with Prime Minister, His Excellency Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Chairperson of the National Assembly, Her Excellency Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan. I am sure my interactions with them will provide a new direction, momentum and substance to our
As Comprehensive Strategic Partners, our commitment to be a reliable developmental partner of Vietnam is stronger than before. The ongoing Jaipur Foot Artificial Limb Fitment Camp in Quang Ninh Province is a prime example of this. Under the ‘India for Humanity’
programme organized in commemoration of the 150th Birth Anniversary of the Mahatma Gandhi, the Government of India is supporting the organization of Jaipur Foot Camp in the provinces of Quang Ninh and Yen Bai of Vietnam.
We will continue with the ongoing long-term and short duration scholarships and training programmes provided under ITEC programme and by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. These programmes have been most effectively used in the agriculture sector, making
a tangible difference in the lives of the Vietnamese people.
You have been a generous and a gracious host. I invite your Excellency to visit India and it would be my pleasure to welcome you in India.
May 10, 2019