Modi receives Vietnam President ahead of talks

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New Delhi, March 3 (IANS) As India pushes ahead with its engagements with southeast Asia under the Act East Policy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi received Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang ahead of bilateral talks here on Saturday.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted that Modi welcomed Quang, who is oin his first state visit to India, at Hyderabad House here.

“India and Vietnam enjoy warm and cordial relationship with common roots in history,” Kumar said.

Following the talks, a number of agreements across different sectors are expected to be signed.

Earlier in the day, Quang was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also called on the visiting dignitary,

The visiting dignitary will also attend a Vietnam-India Business Forum and the opening ceremony of the Vietnam Days in India 2018.

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Vietnam is an important partner in southeast Asia under New Delhi’s Act East Policy 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.

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.

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

–IANS

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