India is looking to enhance cooperation with Vietnam in defence, security and political arena as there is immense potential for bilateral engagement between the two nations, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Saturday.
The President noted that India-Vietnam partnership has reached a “high point” and is also beneficial to ASEAN and the region beyond.
“Political, defence and security cooperation is one of the major pillars of our cooperation. We are of the view that there is much more potential that can be realised in this area and both sides are working towards it along with our regional partners,” Mukherjee told on the eve of his departure for a four-day state visit to the country.
Mukherjee, who will meet the top leadership of Vietnam including President Truong Tan Sang, said his trip is aimed at enhancing the mutual goodwill between the two countries and translate it into further mutually beneficial cooperation.
The visit, which will take Mukherjee to capital Hanoi and the historical Ho Chi Minh City, is set to witness inking of a number of memorandums between the two countries including one between ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) and Petro Vietnam with regard to exploration activities in the South China Sea, a move opposed by China.
He also called the South East Asian nation as an “important pillar” in India’s Look East Policy.
“Vietnam has been a strategic partner for India both within ASEAN and in the wider region. We deeply appreciate Vietnam’s support for India at all regional and international fora and look forward to further deepening this aspect of our cooperation.
The President said there was a need to undertake more efforts to bring together the youth force of the two nations.
Mukherjee said the two countries have a convergence of views and strong cooperation at all regional and international fora.
“In economic cooperation too, we have made a lot of progress. Our trade volume has increased almost three and a half times since 2007. We are well on track to meet our trade targets. The prospects for investment cooperation are also bright.