The two countries inked 3 bilateral agreements boosting India’s ties with Vietnam. President Tran Dai Quang addressed the media, “We wish to express our gratitude for, and most highly appreciate Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement at the ASEAN–India Summit in November last year that ‘India’s Act East policy (AEP) is shaped around the ASEAN.” He also supported India’s permanent membership to United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
The AEP was devised to create an “extended neighbourhood in the Asia-Pacific region”, dealing with economic and trade issues. It also has political, strategic and cultural dimensions so that India can strengthen ties with Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia, Singapore, ASEAN and other countries in the Asia-Pacific.
This relationship with Vietnam assumes importance in terms of dealing with Chinese expansionism in the South China Sea and Indo-Pacific. Prime Minister Modi said that both countries decided to collaborate on defence, production and transfer of technology.
“We will jointly work for an open, independent and prosperous Indo-Pacific region where sovereignty and international laws are respected and where differences are resolved through talks,” PM Modi said in a joint statement on Saturday. “Both sides are committed towards expanding the bilateral maritime cooperation and for an open, efficient and rules-based regional architecture,” he said.
India and Vietnam may search for larger opportunities for trade and investment in renewable energy, textiles, oil and gas exploration, agriculture etc.