New Delhi, March 3: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met isiting Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang and dicussed ways to further strengthen the bilateral relationship.
Taking to Twitter, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “Discussion focused on steps to further strengthen our comprehensive strategic partnership by expanding cooperation across all sectors”.
EAM @SushmaSwaraj called on President of #Vietnam Tran Dai Quang. Discussion focused on steps to further strengthen our comprehensive strategic partnership by expanding cooperation across all sectors. #ActEastPolicy pic.twitter.com/0FrnYIvaCk
— Anurag Srivastava (@MEAIndia) March 3, 2018
During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Vietnam last year the bilateral relationship was elevated from Strategic Partnership to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnerhip.
Later in the day, Modi and Quang will hold a bilateral meeting following which a score of agreements are expected to be signed.
The visiting dignitary will also particpate in Vietnam-India Business Forum and attend the opening ceremony of the Vietnam Days in India 2018.
Vietnam is an important partner in southeast Asia under New Delhi’s Act East Policy and is presently the country coordinator for India with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) regional bloc, a role that will be handed over to Thailand later this year.
Apart from Asean, India and Vietnam closely cooperate in other regional forums like the East Asia Summit, Mekong Ganga Cooperation, Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) besides the UN and WTO.
India-Vietnam trade stood at $6.24 billion in fiscal 2016-17 and the two sides have agreed to amplify this to $15 billion by 2020.
Defence has emerged as a key pillar of the bilateral relationship and Indian ships regularly make friendly port calls to Vietnam.
India is also an integral development aid partner for Vietnam and has extended several lines of credit for capacity building in the southeast Asian nation.