Ahead of his India visit, Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang has strongly advocated enhanced trade ties and boosting maritime and aerial connectivity between the two countries, a push that comes amid increasing Chinese assertiveness in the region.
Tran, who will arrive in India on March 2 on a three-day state visit, said there is immense potential for the two countries to cooperate in different areas.
“Furthermore, both countries are endowed with advantages to develop maritime economy. In this regard, we could increase information exchange and share experience in formulating maritime strategies,” Tran told a news agency.
His call for deepening Indo-Vietnam maritime connectivity assumes significance as the US, Japan and a number of other countries have pitched for a greater role for India in the Indo-Pacific region, apparently to contain China’s growing influence.
The Vietnamese leader also said both countries have forged a high level of political trust through mutual visits at the high and lower levels, and worked closely for effective implementation of the signed agreements, particularly the Joint Vision Statement on Defense Cooperation for 2015-2020.
“In order to achieve the target of USD 15 billion of bilateral trade turnover by 2020, both sides need to promote investment in areas where India’s advantages coincide with Vietnam’s demands,” he said.
The strong pitch by the Vietnamese president for increased aviation and maritime connectivity with India assumes significance with China in conflict with Vietnam and several other countries in the region, including Brunei and the Philippines over maritime claims in the South China Sea.
The presidential visit comes just over a month after Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s trip to India as one of the chief guests for the Republic Day parade.
He also asserted that Indian initiatives, including ‘Make in India’, ‘Digital India’ and ‘100 Smart Cities’, and India’s achievements in developing a knowledge economy offer multiple opportunities for cooperation, investment and doing business for enterprises of both countries.
(With inputs from PTI)