India reaffirms commitment to ties with Vietnam

India on Friday reaffirmed commitment to its comprehensive strategic partnership with Vietnam on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

There has been an upward trajectory in strategic ties between India and Vietnam in the backdrop of rising Chinese military assertiveness in the South China Sea region. “On 50th Anniversary of our diplomatic relations, reaffirm our commitment to the India-Vietnam Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,”External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar tweeted.

“Will continue to work for the Joint Vision for Peace, Prosperity and People laid down by our Prime Ministers,” he said. In December 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a virtual summit with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc during which both sides vowed to boost overall defence and security cooperation including in the maritime sphere.

Vietnam, an important country of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), has territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea region.India has oil exploration projects in the Vietnamese waters in the South China Sea. China claims sovereignty over all of the South China Sea, a huge source of hydrocarbons. However, several ASEAN member countries, including Vietnam, the Philippines and Brunei, have counterclaims.

Relations between the two countries were elevated to the level of ‘strategic partnership’ during the visit of Vietnam’s then Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to India in July 2007. In 2016, during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Vietnam, bilateral relations were further elevated to a ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’. The trade ties between the two sides are also on an upswing. India’s investments in Vietnam are estimated at around USD 1.9 billion including investments routed through third countries. According to Vietnam’s Foreign Investment Agency, India has 299 valid projects with total invested capital of USD 909.5 million as of April 2021.

Till 2020, Vietnam had investments in six projects in India with total estimated capital of USD 28.55 million, primarily in the areas of pharmaceuticals, information technology and chemicals.

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