The visit takes place at a time when Vietnam-India traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation have been developing extensively, especially since the establishment of a bilateral strategic partnership in 2007 and the elevation of the ties to comprehensive strategic partnership in 2016.

It also affirms Vietnam’s consistent external policy of independence, self-reliance, multi-lateralization and diversification of international ties, including attaching importance to the friendship with India.

On the political front, Vietnam and India conducted the exchange of high-level delegations and cooperation mechanisms such as the Vietnam-India Inter-Governmental Committee on Scientific-Technological and Cultural-Education Cooperation, political consultations and strategic dialogues between the two foreign ministries.

President Tran Dai Quang (R) received Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of his visit to Vietnam in September 2016

Bilateral national defense-security links continue improving with the upgrade of the national defense dialogue from deputy ministerial to ministerial level in June 2016 and the establishment of a national defense dialogue mechanism in 2003. Extended defense ties were seen in naval, ground and air forces with a focus on training, defense industry and vessel visits.

Economic and trade ties are considered one of the pillars in bilateral relations by the two governments. India is among Vietnam’s top 10 trade partners of Vietnam while Vietnam is a top priority in India’s Look East policy.

The two countries’ bilateral trade was estimated at USD 7.5 billion in 2017, an increase of 37.7 percent annually. As of late November 2017, India registered capital of USD 756 million in Vietnam, ranking 28th out of 126 countries and territories investing in the country. Vietnam currently invests in seven projects, worth USD 6.15 million, in India.

India is assisting Vietnam in personnel training in many fields via providing scholarships and establishing training centers in Hanoi, the central city of Da Nang and Nha Trang city in Khanh Hoa province.

The two nations signed a cultural exchange program for 2015-2017 and held exchanges, fairs and exhibitions to promote culture and tourism. They also signed a memorandum of understanding on establishing Nalanda University to pave the way for further Buddhism cooperation, while India opened the India Cultural Centre in Hanoi to popularize Bollywood movies, yoga and Buddhism.

India transferred technologies to Vietnam and boosted technical coordination in the fields of remote sensing, nano, bio and information technology, oceanography and climate change.

Vietnam and India have offered mutual support in multilateral forums, especially at the United Nations. As coordinator in the India-ASEAN partnership for 2015-2018, Vietnam supports India’s “Act East” policy, and its initiatives to boost regional connectivity, especially Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam and Mekong Ganga Cooperation.

Translated by Chung Anh