Eastern agenda: Vietnamese President to come on India visit

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New Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS) As New Delhi pushes ahead with its engagements with southeast Asia under the Act East Policy, Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang will come on a three-day visit to India starting on Friday at the invitation of his Indian counterpart Ram Nath Kovind, it was announced on Tuesday.

Quang will be accompanied by an official delegation, including ministers and Communist Party of Vietnam leaders, as also a business delegation, according to a statement issued by the External Affairs Ministry.

He will meet Kovind and hold official talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will also call on the visiting dignitary.

The Vietnam President will have an interaction with prominent Indian businessmen and also make a trip to Bodh Gaya during the course of the visit.

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“President Quang’s visit will further deepen the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between India and Vietnam,” the statement said.

The visit comes after the visit of Modi to Vietnam in 2016 when the bilateral relationship was elevated from Strategic Partnership to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

Vietnam is an important partner in southeast Asia and is currently the country coordinator for India with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) regional bloc, a role that will be handed over to Thailand later this year.

Apart from Asean, India and Vietnam closely cooperate in other regional forums such as the East Asia Summit, Mekong Ganga Cooperation, Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) besides the UN and WTO.

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

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Defence has emerged as an important pillar of the bilateral relationship and Indian ships regularly make friendly port calls to Vietnam.

India is also an important development aid partner for Vietnam and has extended several lines of credit for capacity building in the southeast Asian nation.

Vietnam is also among the larger recipients of scholarships offered under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme.

–IANS

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