Vietnamese, Indian premiers discuss national defense, trade, and East Vietnam Sea 

Vietnamese, Indian premiers discuss national defense, trade, and East Vietnam Sea

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (left) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met at Hydrabad House on the evening of January 24, 2018. Photo: Reuters

The prime ministers of Vietnam and India had a conversation about a number of topics related to the two countries, notably technological and commercial cooperation and East Vietnam Sea issues, at Hydrabad House in India on Wednesday.

At the talk, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in the ASEAN – India Commemorative Summit and the ceremony on the 69th anniversary of the Republic Day of India.

Phuc congratulated India on its significant achievements in economy, society, national defense, and science and technology.

He also uttered his belief that Modi will successfully continue to create a prosperous India with sustainable development and an improved status in Asia and on the international stage.

Modi demonstrated his appreciation for Vietnam’s coordinative role in strengthening the relations between India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) over the past years.

Considering defense and security links as seminal, both leaders agreed to increase the trust and effectiveness of the countries’ collaboration in these areas, and to direct their relevant governmental bodies to tackle any problems during the process.

The Vietnamese PM expressed his hopes that India continues to transfer its national defense technologies to Vietnam.

Meanwhile his Indian counterpart expected the countries to maintain mechanisms in national defense and security cooperation and the exchange of their people for experience acquisition, as well as to expedite the application of the defense credit packages as agreed on previously.

The two leaders expressed a common view upon the importance of peace, stability, security, and freedom of navigation in the East Vietnam Sea, and of a peaceful resolution of the dispute over the waters by international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Endorsing India’s position on the East Vietnam Sea, Phuc anticipated the country’s continued cooperation with Vietnam in exploring and exploiting petroleum within Vietnamese territory in the sea.

Vietnam is willing to work with India and ASEAN in developing the discussion on sea security cooperation at importance meetings, he said.

Both prime ministers were acknowledging that bilateral investment is still limited and that the growth in mutual trade is rapid but falls short of expectations.

They plan to achieve the trade target of US$15 billion by 2020 by organizing meetings that will seek measures to facilitate airline and maritime connection, reduce and gradually break down commercial barriers concentrating on making two-way trade easier.

Additionally, the countries consent to work closely and support each other in multilateral forums, especially those in the United Nations framework.

According to Phuc, Vietnam, as a coordinator of the ASEAN-India relations between 2015 and 2018, is pleased to work with the South Asian country in order to enable the latter to develop multifaceted ties with the association.

Prior to their talk, the leaders witnessed the handover of the agreements in communication and television broadcasting, and those in building centers for satellite data, between the countries’ relevant bodies.

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