New Delhi: – Indian foreign ministry Secretary (East) Riva Ganguli Das said ‘Vietnam is an important partner in the Act East and Indo-Pacific policies. The interest of both the countries is in the peace and stability in the region.’ Tuesday a virtual meeting of the India-Vietnam business forum was held. Riva Ganguli Das was speaking on this occasion. At this time, Vietnam invited India to the ‘ASEAN Virtual Meeting’ to be held in November. The ten members of ASEAN are coming together to counter the Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific sector. Therefore, the increasing cooperation between India and the ASEAN countries becomes important.
Riva Ganguli Das represented India in the Virtual Business Forum Conference with Vietnam. At this time, discussions were held regarding cooperation in investment and trade. Das said that there is a scope for cooperation between India and Vietnam, in the health, pharma production, energy, infrastructure facilities and IT sectors. At the same time, India has attached the highest priority to its relations with Vietnam, saying that Vietnam is an important partner in the Act East and Indo-Pacific policies.
In the year 2000, India-Vietnam bilateral trade was a meagre $200 million. Das pointed out that today this trade has reached $12.34 billion. Today, in bilateral trade with India, Vietnam is ranked 18th globally and 4th among ASEAN countries. There are also 278 Indian projects operational in Vietnam and India has major investments in that country. At the same time, Vietnam has created its impression in the IT, pharma and construction sectors, in India. It was decided in the summit that the cooperation in these sectors will be enhanced.
The relations between India and Vietnam went from strength to strength, even during the Coronavirus crisis. In April, discussions had been held between the Prime Ministers of both the countries regarding the Coronavirus and future cooperation, over the telephone. In August, Foreign Ministers of both countries held a virtual summit. Meanwhile, ASEAN virtual summit will be held in Vietnam between 13th and 15 November. Vietnam has invited India for this summit. Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s presence in the ASEAN summit in Thailand was significant. India has prepared its ‘ASEAN India Action Plan’ for the period 2021 to 2025. As per this plan, India has prioritised increasing cooperation with the ASEAN countries.