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Vietnam for deeper ties ahead of its PM's India visit

A file photo.

NEW DELHI (PTI): Ahead of its Prime Minister's visit here, Vietnam on recently pitched for greater cooperation in key areas of defence, security and oil exploration and expressed confidence of "substantive" outcome from the trip during which nearly a dozen pacts are likely to be inked.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung will arrive here on a two-day visit on October 27 and hold talks with the top Indian leadership on strategically important bilateral issues of security and energy as well as regional matters.

Newly appointed Vietnamese Ambassador Ton Sinh Thanh said that both the countries are keen to expand the strategic cooperation to a higher level, besides giving a new momentum to economic ties.

Both sides are likely to sign at least a dozen pacts to boost cooperation in sectors like energy, infrastructure, trade and tourism during his Prime Minister's visit, he said.

"We want further deepening of the strategic ties with India. The focus of the visit will be on improving economic relations," Ton, who presented his credentials to President Pranab Mukherjee recently, said.

He said the Prime Minister will be accompanied by around 50 top businessmen. The trade volume between India and Vietnam has been to the tune of USD 8 billion during 2013-14 and plans are afoot to take it to 15 billion USD by 2020.

State-run ONGC Videsh Limited has operations in number of oil blocks in South China Sea which were offered to it by Vietnam.

China and Vietnam have an acrimonious relationship due to their standoff over the South China Sea, a huge source of hydrocarbons. China has been objecting to India's oil exploration projects in the disputed waters.

A Letter of Intent was signed between ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) and Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) during President Pranab Mukherjee's visit to that country last month.

The LoI is aimed at further consolidating cooperation between India and Vietnam in energy sector and pave the way for future collaboration between the two countries.

Ton, who served here as Vietnam's Minister Counsellor and Deputy Chief of Mission from 2003-2007, said for the first time, there will be a direct flight service between New Delhi and Ho Chi Minh city from November 5.

A memorandum of understanding for connecting the two countries by air was inked during Mukherjee's visit.


India  Vietnam  Defence  Ties  

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