Viet Nam and India have issued Joint Statement on the occasion of Indian President Ram Nath Kovind’s State visit to Viet Nam from November 18-20 at the invitation of Vietnamese State President Nguyen Phu Trong
BETWEEN THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM
AND THE REPUBLIC OF INDIA
On the State visit to Viet Nam by H.E. Shri. Ram Nath Kovind,
President of the Republic of India and Spouse
(Ha Noi, 20 November 2018)
1. At the invitation of H.E. Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong, President of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, H.E. Shri. Ram Nath Kovind, President of the Republic of India and his Spouse, paid a State visit to Viet Nam from 18 – 20 November 2018. The President of India was accompanied by a high-level official delegation, including Minister of State Shri Anantkumar Hegde, Members of Parliament, and a large business delegation.
2. The official welcoming ceremony for the President of India Ram Nath Kovind was solemnly held at the Presidential Palace, Ha Noi, on 20 November 2018. President Nguyen Phu Trong held delegation level talks and hosted a State Banquet in honor of the President of India. President Ram Nath Kovind also met Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, President of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, and addressed the National Assembly of Viet Nam. President Ram Nath Kovind paid floral tribute at President Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and laid a wreath at the Memorial of the Unknown Martyrs and Heroes. He also addressed the Viet Nam – India Business Forum and met with the Indian community and Friends of India in Viet Nam. Prior to his trip to Ha Noi, President Ram Nath Kovind had visited the City of Da Nang and the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site of My Son in Quang Nam Province.
3. The official talks were held in warm, cordial and friendly atmosphere. The two Leaders discussed all aspects of bilateral relations, and exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interest. President Ram Nath Kovind congratulated President Nguyen Phu Trong on his election as State President by the National Assembly of Viet Nam with overwhelming support. President Nguyen Phu Trong expressed his appreciation to President Ram Nath Kovind for having chosen Viet Nam as his first destination in South East Asia since he was sworn into office in July 2017. Following the talks, the two Leaders witnessed the signing of a number of documents including: (i) the MOU between the Ministry of Information and Communications of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Ministry of Communications of the Republic of India on cooperation in the field of Communications; (ii) the MOU on cooperation between the Department of Foreign Affairs of Provinces of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam and the Indian Business Chamber in Viet Nam (INCHAM); (iii) the MOU between the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, Ha Noi, Viet Nam and the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India; and (iv) Cooperation Agreement between Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).
4. The two Leaders reaffirmed the long traditional friendly relations between the two countries, the foundation of which was laid by the Fathers of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi and Ho Chi Minh, and nurtured by successive generations of leaders and peoples of the two countries. The two Leaders shared the views that the Viet Nam – India relations have been thriving in all areas since the establishment of the Strategic Partnership in 2007, and its elevation to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2016.
THE REINFORCEMENT OF THE COMPREHENSIVE STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP
5. On the basis of the excellent development of bilateral relations as well as mutual trust and understanding, the two Leaders shared a common vision on further deepening the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in all areas.
6. The two sides expressed their satisfaction at the regular exchange of high-level visits, including the official visit to Viet Nam by Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi (September 2016), the official visit to India by President of the Vietnamese National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (December 2016), and the visit to India by Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh (July 2017). Both sides regarded 2018 as an extraordinary year, during which Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in New Delhi and the celebration of the 69th Republic Day of India (January 2018), the State visit to India by the late President Tran Dai Quang (March 2018), and the visits to Viet Nam by the Minister of Defence Nirmala Sitharaman (June 2018) and Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj (August 2018).
7. On the basis of the existing excellent bilateral relations, the two Leaders agreed to maintain regular high-level visits and at all other levels, including governments, political parties, legislative institutions, provinces/states and between the peoples of both countries.
8. The two Leaders welcomed the organization of the various meaningful activities during the 2017 Year of Friendship to celebrate the 45th Anniversary of diplomatic relations and 10th Anniversary of the Strategic Partnership. They encouraged both sides to continue the effective implementation of the Plan of Action for the Implementation of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for the period of 2017 – 2020.
9. Both sides agreed to maintain the regular and timely organization of bilateral cooperation mechanisms and to effectively implement the outcomes of high-level visits as well as the signed documents.
DEFENCE AND SECURITY COOPERATION
10. The two Leaders shared the view that defence and security cooperation has become an important pillar of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two countries, and expressed their satisfaction at the growing defence exchanges in recent years, including the visits to Viet Nam by the Indian National Security Advisor (April 2015) and Minister of Defence (June 2016 and June 2018), and the visits to India by the Vietnamese Minister of National Defence (May 2015 and December 2016). They acknowledged the successful organization of annual defence cooperation mechanisms, in particular the annual Deputy Ministerial Defence Policy Dialogue. The two sides applauded the result of the meeting between the Indian National Security Council Secretariat and the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security (November 2016) and the successful organization of the first Security Dialogue (July 2018). They welcomed the sustained mutual visits by each other’s naval/coast guard vessels, particularly in 2018 and in the years to come.
11. The two Leaders agreed to effectively implement the Joint Vision Statement on Viet Nam – India Defence Cooperation for the period of 2015-2020. They agreed to step up cooperation in human resources training, and promote collaboration between the Army, Air Force, Naval and Coast Guard of the two countries, as well as cooperation in cyber security and information sharing.
12. The two Leaders expressed their satisfaction at the progress of the implementation of the US$100 million Line of Credit for the building of high-speed patrol vessels for the Vietnamese Border Guards. The Vietnamese side appreciated Indian’s offer of the US$500 million Line of Credit to defence industry and agreed to accelerate procedures for its approval.
13. The two sides agreed to step up experience sharing in the training of personnel for participation in the United Nations peace-keeping operations and cooperation in addressing war legacies in Viet Nam, and to strengthen criminal information exchange and law enforcement experience sharing. They agreed to actively support each other and step up coordination at multilateral defence and security cooperation frameworks, particularly ARF and ADMM+.
14. Both sides agreed that it is essential to strengthen cooperation in maritime domain including anti-piracy, security of sea lanes, exchange of white shipping etc. In the spirit of the proposal for an ASEAN-India Strategic Dialogue on maritime cooperation made at the commemorative summit held in New Delhi in January 2018, the two sides agreed to hold the first Maritime Security Dialogue on issues related to maritime domain and further encouraged port calls of each other’s naval and coast guard ships.
ECONOMIC, TRADE AND INVESTMENT COOPERATION
15. The two Leaders were pleased with the rapid growth of bilateral trade since relations was upgraded to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, and expressed their confidence that the target trade volume of US$15 billion would be reached.
16. The two Leaders applauded the signing of the MOU on Economic and Trade Cooperation between the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry (May 2018). They urged the two sides to promptly establish concrete plans to effectively implement the signed agreements in order to promote bilateral trade, including measures for trade promotion.
17. The two sides called for the reduction of trade barriers including non-tariff and technical barriers. Both sides stressed the need to engage in close coordination as well as periodic consultations to address bilateral trade issues.
18. The two Leaders agreed to continue promoting bilateral investment, including cooperation projects between PVN and ONGC in oil and gas exploration on land, continental shelf and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Viet Nam, and encouraged the two sides to be more active in identifying models for cooperation, including those involving third country. The Vietnamese side welcomed and agreed to create facilitating conditions for Indian companies to invest into new thermal energy and renewable energy projects in Viet Nam.
19. The Indian side welcomed and agreed to create facilitating conditions for Vietnamese businesses investing in India, particularly in agriculture, agro-processing, marine products and wood products. Referring to the Plan of Action 2018 – 2020 between the two Ministries of Agriculture, the two sides agreed to hold a Meeting of the Joint Working Group on Agriculture at an early date. They further agreed that this meeting could expeditiously consider requests for market access by both sides for their agricultural, fruit and food products.
20. The President of Viet Nam highly appreciated India’s long-term and continuous support for development projects in various forms such as grants, preferential credit lines, and human resource training in areas of interest of Viet Nam.
21. The two sides agreed to focus on timely implementation of grants-in-aid and preferential credit lines that the Indian Government has pledged to Viet Nam, as well as the annual projects under the CLMV Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) Fund.
22. The President of India reaffirmed the Indian Government’s commitment to provide around 200 annual scholarships to Viet Nam through the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Program (ITEC) and 30 scholarships through the Cultural Exchange Program/ General Cultural Scholarship Scheme (CEP/GCSS) Program. The President of Viet Nam appreciated Prime Minister Modi’s announcement at the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in January 2018 of undertaking a pilot project on rural connectivity in the CLMV countries to create digital villages and for offering 1000 fellowships to students and researchers from ASEAN Member States for studying integrated PhD programmes in Indian Institutes of Technology.
SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL COOPERATION
23. The two Leaders welcomed the signing of the Framework Agreement on Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy (December, 2016) and the signing of the MOU between the Institute of Atomic Energy of Viet Nam and India‘s Global Center for Nuclear Energy Partnership (March 2018). The two sides agreed to step up the implementation of agreements signed, and to hold the first meeting of the Joint Committee at the earliest.
24. The two sides agreed to soon hold the next meeting of the India-Viet Nam Joint Committee on Science and Technology, establish a suitable mechanism for joint research activities, hasten the implementation process for ongoing projects, and continue the exchange of delegations and the sharing of experience in scientific and technological development between the two countries.
25. The two sides agreed on the importance of stronger connectivity between Viet Nam and India and urged utilisation of the US$1 billion credit line for physical and digital connectivity projects under the India-ASEAN cooperation framework, and called for an early mechanism between the two sides to enable utilisation of the Line of Credit for projects in Viet Nam.
CULTURAL, TOURISM COOPERATION AND PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE EXCHANGE
26. The two Leaders welcomed the launch of the Swami Vivekananda Center for Indian Culture (April 2017) and the Center for Indian Studies in Ha Noi (September 2014) and the Center for Vietnamese Studies in New Delhi (March 2018). The President of India expressed his appreciation to Viet Nam for the collaboration in the organization of events celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in 2018 and for the support in organization of the annual International Day of Yoga celebrations. During his visit to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site of My Son in Quang Nam Province, the President of India expressed his appreciation for the close collaboration between the two sides that has facilitated Archaeological Survey of India‘s effective implementation of the Project for the conservation and restoration of three temple groups at the heritage site. The President of Viet Nam welcomed India’s support for the Cham community, including the building of the Cham Community Houses and Schools and Cham culture research programs in Ninh Thuan province.
27. The two Leaders reaffirmed that they would continue to support friendship associations and academia and agreed to facilitate the press and media agencies to increase their presence and operations.
28. The two sides noted with satisfaction the implementation of the Agreement between the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union and the Ministry of Youth and Sports of India, and the Agreement between the Youth Union of Viet Nam and the National Cadet Corps of India. The two sides agreed to maintain the regular exchange of youth delegations on an annual basis to facilitate exchange of knowledge and experience between the youth.
29. The two sides agreed to work on the possibility of establishing Twinning or Sister City arrangements between the important cities of both countries to enhance exchange of experience and expertise and establish fraternal relations.
30. The two sides agreed on the importance of the reinforcement of people-to-people ties by organising film festivals and advancing tourism cooperation. In this regard, both leaders noted that India-ASEAN Year of Tourism in 2019 would provide opportunities to promote tourism in both countries. The two Leaders stressed the role of enhancing connectivity, and resolved to facilitate Vietjet Air’s direct flight between Ho Chi Minh City and New Delhi in the year 2019.
31. The President of Vietnam also conveyed his appreciation for the efforts of Government of India and the Bhagwan Mahavir Viklang Sahayata Samiti in the provision of rehabilitation services and the artificial limb fitment Jaipur foot to around 500 Vietnamese in the provinces of Phu Tho and Vinh Phuc (July 2018) as also for another 500 Vietnamese citizens in a new limb fitment camp in Hanoi to be held later in the year.
32. The two sides agreed to organize meetings of joint working groups in healthcare, IT and remote sensing, among others at the earliest, in order to effectively implement the signed Agreements.
33. Both sides agreed to ensure continuous and close cooperation for the effective implementation and early operation of the Project for the construction of the Satellite Tracking & Data Reception Station and Data Processing Facility under the ASEAN – India cooperation framework in Viet Nam.
34. Both sides agreed to complete the internal procedures for the early negotiation and signing of the Agreement on mutual judicial assistance in civic and commercial matters between the two countries. The two sides agreed to accelerate the negotiation of the MOU on cooperation in legal and judicial matters between the Ministry of Justice of Viet Nam and the Ministry of Law and Justice of India.
REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
35. The two Leaders shared convergence of views on various regional and international issues of mutual interest. The two sides reiterated the importance of the building of a peaceful and prosperous Asia and the Indo-Pacific region, on the basis of respect for national sovereignty and international law as well as freedom of navigation, overflight and unimpeded economic activities. The President of India expressed his appreciation for Viet Nam’s cooperation in successfully hosting of the Third Indian Ocean Conference (August 2018), and stressed the role of both India and Viet Nam in the maintenance and reinforcement of an open, transparent, inclusive and rules-based regional architecture.
36. The President of India highly valued Viet Nam’s contributions as the Country Coordinator for the ASEAN-India relations for the period of 2015-2018, and suggested that the two sides would work together to advance the implementation of the Delhi Declaration of the ASEAN – India Summit in commemorating the 25th anniversary of Dialogue Partnership (January 2018). The President of Viet Nam reaffirmed Viet Nam’s support for India’s “Act East” policy, and highly appreciated India’s support for ASEAN’s unity and centrality in the evolving regional architecture.
37. The two sides agreed to continue their close coordination and mutual support at multilateral fora, particularly within the United Nations. They reaffirmed mutual support for their respective candidatures as non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – Viet Nam for the term of 2020 – 2021 and India for the term of 2021 – 2022. The Vietnamese side reiterated its consistent support for permanent membership of India in an expanded United Nations Security Council and the Indian side expressed its appreciation for the same.
38. The two sides exchanged views over the current developments in the South China Sea, and reiterated the importance of the maintenance of peace, stability, security and freedom of navigation and over-flight and unimpeded economic activities in the South China Sea. The two sides stressed the necessity of full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) as well as the early conclusion of a substantive, effective and binding Code of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (COC). They emphasized the importance of peaceful settlement of disputes, including the full respect for diplomatic and legal processes, and complete compliance with international law, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS). The two sides reiterated that the parties concerned should continue exercising self-restraint and refrain from the use of force or threat to use force.
39. The two sides unequivocally condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including cross-border terrorism. The Vietnamese side shared India’s concern that terrorism is one of the most serious threats to global peace, security and stability. They underscored that there is no justification whatsoever for act of terrorism and recognised that terrorism cannot be and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic groups. They called upon all nations to adopt a comprehensive approach in combating terrorism, which should include countering radicalisation, recruitment, training and movement of terrorists including Foreign Terrorist Fighters, blocking sources of financing terrorism including through organized crimes, money-laundering, smuggling of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), drug trafficking and other criminal activities, dismantling terrorist bases, safe havens and countering misuse of the internet, cyberspace, including social media and other communication techniques by terrorist entities groups and their affiliates. The two sides further agreed that they would cooperate in building a strong consensus for early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT).
40. The President of India Ram Nath Kovind thanked President Nguyen Phu Trong and the friendly people of Viet Nam for the warm and gracious hospitality, and conveyed his cordial invitation to President Nguyen Phu Trong to visit India in the near future. President Nguyen Phu Trong accepted the invitation with pleasure and agreed that the timing of the visit would be arranged through diplomatic channels.
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