India, Vietnam sign MoUs on trade, agriculture and nuclear cooperation

Tran Dai Quang

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress Parliamentary Party leader Sonia Gandhi today met visiting Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang here and held discussions on ties between the two countries.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

President Quang's three-day visit to India has been quite significant to both the countries as strategic partnerships between the two nations in the spheres of defence and security, trade and investment, energy, agriculture, science and technology and tourism have been reinforced. "We reaffirm our close collaboration to support India to further its relations and multi-faceted connectivity with Asean attaching high importance to the maintenance of security, maritime safety and freedom of navigation and over flight, settlement of disputes by peaceful means on the basis of global law including UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea)", Quang said. He said that disputes must be resolved through peaceful means.

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He will attend the Vietnam-India Business Forum on Saturday evening.

The remarks come amid China's growing assertiveness in the region. Both India and Vietnam have strongly supported the need for rule of law and freedom of navigation and overflight in the region, as outlined in the United Nation Convention of the Law on the Sea (UNCLOS).

"We agreed to strengthen our relations in different sectors like renewable energy, agriculture, textiles & Oil & gas". The two sides made a decision to explore co-development projects in defence sector and boost ties in oil and gas exploration, including with third countries.

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The two sides did not sign any agreements in the field of defence cooperation, but are expected to continue to work on fulfilling India's $100 million Credit Line commitment to Vietnam, some of which has been used for procuring Offshore Patrol Vehicles (OPVs), while talks continue on Akash Surface to Air Missile systems (SR-SAMS) and Dhruv advanced light helicopters.

India-Vietnam trade stood at 6.24 billion dollars in fiscal 2016-17 and the two sides have agreed to raise this to 15 billion dollars by 2020.

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