Baoquocte.vn. Talking with TG&VN on the sidelines of the Vietnam Days in India 2022 program taking place in New Delhi, Vietnamese Ambassador to India Nguyen Thanh Hai affirmed that the program is an opportunity to introduce to the public the cultural value of Vietnam and the cultural connection between the two countries.
Could you please assess the important achievements that Vietnam and India cooperation has achieved in recent years, especially since the two countries promoted their relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in September, 2016 and future prospects?
Vietnam and India have close cultural ties and share many interests in development. The relationship between the two countries has been cultivated by generations of leaders and people, and made remarkable progress since the two countries established diplomatic relationship 50 years ago.
Especially since promoting the relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2016, the relationship between the two countries has become more and more in-depth, serving the interests of the two peoples in more practical ways.
Specifically, the political diplomatic relationship is constantly being strengthened. Senior leaders of the two countries regularly visit each other and meet on the sidelines of international forums, setting major orientations for bilateral relations. Strategic trust between the two countries is increasing.
Defense cooperation continues to be an important pillar of the bilateral relationship. India has offered Vietnam credit packages worth hundreds of millions of USD to improve defense capacity. Cooperation between the two countries in joint exercises, peacekeeping, officer training and training, and maritime capacity improvement is increasing.
Economic-trade-investment partnerships have developed strongly. Bilateral trade has dramatically increased from $200 million in the early 2000s to $13.2 billion in 2021. In the first 10 months of 2022, the two countries’ trade turnover reached $13.4 billion, getting closer to the target of 15 billion USD that the leaders of the two countries have decided.
A number of major Indian investors have poured capital into Vietnam, especially in areas of strength for India such as information technology and pharmaceuticals. HCL Group – one of the five largest IT companies in India, has invested in Vietnam with a total capital of about 650 million USD. Indian billionaire Gautam Adani – one of the world’s top billionaires has announced his intention to invest 10 billion USD in Vietnam in the next decade, etc.
People-to-people exchanges and tourism cooperation between the two countries are expanding impressively. India is an increasingly attractive destination for spiritual, heritage and scenic tourism for Vietnamese tourists. At the same time, more and more Indians are interested in Vietnam tourist destinations.
Up to now, the two countries have established many direct flights, paving the way for a wave of tourists to travel between the two countries. In the first 11 months of 2022, the number of visitors from India grew fastest among countries to Vietnam, reaching more than 109,000 visitors.
The important results in cooperation between the two countries in the past are creating a solid foundation for the bilateral relationship in the coming time. India is on track to become one of the leading powers, the 3rd largest economy in the world in the next 5-6 years and the most populous market in the world in the next 1-2 years.
Vietnam is trying to actualize the goal by 2030 to be a developing country with modern industry, upper middle income and by 2045 to become a developed country with high income.
The two countries have great potential for cooperation, sharing many similarities in development goals and strategic interests. This is an essential foundation for bilateral relations to continually develop, to achieve many important steps in all channels and fields.
In your opinion, how is cultural diplomacy helping to enhance Vietnam’s image in the international arena and specifically promoting its role in connecting the two countries, the two peoples of Vietnam and India?
Cultural diplomacy plays a very important role in relations between countries. It helps pave the way, create a basis for people to connect and promote cooperation in all aspects between Vietnam and other countries.
India and Vietnam have enjoyed favorable conditions in bilateral cooperation thanks to their shared cultural values. For many Indians, the image of Vietnam is associated with the image of President Ho Chi Minh, with his indomitable spirit in the struggle for national liberation.
Over the years, activities commemorating President Ho Chi Minh have always been prominent in cultural diplomacy activities in India. India has two statues of Uncle Ho solemnly placed in large parks as well as two large avenues named after President Ho Chi Minh in New Delhi and Kolkata. Vietnam – Ho Chi Minh Corner has been opened at the National Library and Central Library of India.
The two countries also organized many cultural and art delegation exchange activities. India has supported Vietnam in preserving a number of heritages such as the My Son World Cultural Heritage.
In the coming time, the Embassy will continue to introduce Vietnam’s rich cultural identity, innovation, modernity and its increasing position in the region and in the international arena to the Indian people.
With the launch of many direct flights between Vietnam and India in recent months, cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries are bustling. The Embassy has actively promoted the country and people of Vietnam through many events, talk shows, interviews with press agencies; proactively integrating Vietnamese cuisine into diplomatic activities, entertaining guests, Lunar New Year, Diwali Festival, and other major holidays of Vietnam and India.
In 2022, many cultural diplomatic activities were organized by the Embassy in coordination with relevant agencies. The Embassy released a film to commemorate 50 years of Vietnam – India relations, announced a commemorative logo to symbolize the 50 years of diplomatic relations, and coordinated with relevant agencies to organize the Vietnam Cultural Night and a series of events within the framework of “the Vietnam Days in India 2022”
Following the success of the Vietnam Abroad Days program held in Austria, South Korea, the ongoing Vietnam Days in India 2022 program has made many good impressions on the Indian people. Could you tell us the significance of this event?
Although only established diplomatic relations in 1972, Vietnam and India have a long history of cultural interference. The Vietnam Days in India 2022 program taking place from December 12-14, 2022 is an opportunity to introduce to the public about the cultural values of Vietnam and the cultural connection between Vietnam and India.
This is also an opportunity to promote the image of a successfully reformed Vietnam that still preserves its traditional culture, majestic natural scenery, and beautiful historical relics.
Attending the event, Indians and international friends can experience the rich Vietnamese culture through a series of unique ethnic art performances, folk art forms, and better understand the life and culture of Vietnam as well as Vietnamese people.
Vietnam Days in India 2022 contributes to pique the interest of the Indian public. I hope that through such events, the Indian public will come to Vietnam more, further promote people-to-people exchange, trade and multifaceted cooperation between the two countries.
Within the framework of Vietnam Days in India 2022, a large-scale forum on promoting Vietnam’s tourism in India will take place. What do you expect from the Forum this time?
Vietnam Tourism Forum in India 2022 is organized based on the need to promote Vietnamese tourism as well as the needs of Indian travel companies. The program takes place in the context of a marked increase in travel demand between the two countries.
The Vietnamese delegation attending this Forum consists of nearly 20 members, including travel companies and representatives of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism. The Indian side has nearly 100 partners, including tour operators, event organizers, weddings – seminars, golf associations…
The forum aims to introduce Vietnam as a new and exciting destination for Indian tourists with a number of key services such as resort tourism, conference destinations, golf tourism and wedding tourism
In particular, we invite Indian experts to share the typical requirements of Indian tourists so that Vietnamese service providers can prepare suitable products, paving the way for welcoming the influx of Indian tourists in a sustainable way.
The event is also a marvelous opportunity for businesses of the two countries to introduce new potential products, learn more about each other and the markets of the two sides.
We hope that the Forum will open new connections and tourism programs between the two countries, bringing more Indian tourists to Vietnam as well as Vietnamese tourists to India.