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Vietnam, India unveil joint vision amid shared interest in Indo-Pacific
Linh Pham 20:01, 2020/12/22
Vietnam is described as an important pillar of India’s Act East Policy.

Vietnam and India have unveiled a joint vision for peace and prosperity against the backdrop of concerns in both countries about China’s aggressive actions across the region.

Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (left) and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the virtual summit on December 21. Source: PTI

Participating in a virtual summit on December 21 with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister Narendra Modi described Vietnam as “an important pillar of India’s Act East policy and an important ally of our Indo-Pacific vision”, Hindustantimes reported.

As both countries have stakes in the Indo-Pacific region and significant maritime interests, the summit enabled them to look at potential cooperation on India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative and ASEAN’s Indo-Pacific outlook.

“We see our relationship with Vietnam from a long-term and strategic view. Peace, stability and prosperity are our common objectives in the Indo-Pacific region. Our partnership can contribute significantly to maintain stability and peace in the region,” Modi said.

At the summit, the two countries also issued a Plan of Action for bilateral engagement from 2021 to 2023.

Broader cooperation

Notably, the two countries eye broader cooperation in the bilateral relations as Modi stressed “The scope of our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership has broadened. Our mutual relations are also intensifying fast and are expanding into new territories.”

He said the two prime ministers review various aspects under the comprehensive strategic partnership and discuss cooperation at the regional and multilateral level.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc said the upgrading of bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2016 had bolstered trust and understanding of other’s vision and interests on international issues.

India and Vietnam will also concurrently serve as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council from 2021, and this has opened up new opportunities for cooperation and coordination on regional and international issues.

Prospects ahead

At the summit, the two countries signed seven agreements covering various areas such as defense, nuclear power, petro-chemicals, renewable energy, scientific research and cancer treatment.

PM Phuc said the Vietnamese side had also agreed on India’s proposals for a further defense line of credit.

India’s is currently implementing a US$100-million defense line of credit for 12 high speed patrol boats for Vietnam. The boats being built for the Vietnam Border Guard are meant to enhance coastal security and prevent illegal activities.

Five vessels are being built at Larsen & Toubro’s shipyard in Chennai, and the rest will be made at Hong Ha shipyard in the Vietnamese port city of Haiphong under the Indian firm’s supervision.

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