Vietnamese, Indian PMs co-chair virtual summit

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi co-chaired the Vietnam-India Virtual Summit on December 21.

At the event, PM Phuc spoke highly of the steady development of Vietnam – India relations over the past time, especially since the two countries upgraded their ties to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2016. He thanked India and Prime Minister Modi for actively contributing to the success of the 17th ASEAN – India Summit and the 15th East Asia Summit within the framework of ASEAN 2020 chaired by Vietnam.

Congratulating India on becoming a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the 2021-2022 term, the Vietnamese Government leader appreciated India’s sharing with and support to Vietnam in overcoming consequences of storms and floods in central provinces recently.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulated Vietnam on well controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, maintaining socio-economic development, and successfully assuming the role of ASEAN 2020 Chair and a non-permanent member of the UNSC for 2020-2021.

He affirmed that Vietnam plays a leading role in the “Act East” policy of India.

The PMs asserted that this virtual summit demonstrates the determination of the two sides to overcome challenges from the pandemic to continue deepening the Vietnam-India relations on the basis of traditional friendship, cohesion in history, culture and religion, mutual understanding and trust, as well as the similar visions and interests in regional and international issues.

They highly valued the results of the 17th session of the Vietnam – India Joint Commission via a video conference in August 2020 and welcomed the two Foreign Ministers’ signing of the Plan of Action to implement the two countries’ Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for the 2021-2023 period on the occasion of the online summit.

Stressing that defence and security cooperation is a pillar in the bilateral relationship, both leaders agreed to continue promoting consultation and dialogue mechanisms to expand cooperation in defence industry and training as well as coordination in UN peacekeeping activities.

The two sides should promote cooperation in responding to traditional and non-traditional security challenges.

Regarding economic partnership, the two sides agreed to make efforts to soon achieve the target of 15 billion USD in two-way trade per year through strengthening trade promotion, minimising technical barriers, and limiting trade defence remedies and policies that are not conducive to imports and exports.

They need to enhance the connection of production chains, maintain the stability of regional and global supply chains, and expand collaboration in the fields of energy, science and technology, artificial intelligence, 5G network and start-up development.

PM Phuc thanked the Indian Government for its continued provision of non-refundable aid and preferential credit for Vietnam, actively contributing to socio-economic development in localities and the preservation of cultural heritage, thus further tightening the friendship and people-to-people exchange between the two countries.

The two sides agreed to increase mutual support and closer coordination at international and regional forums, especially at the United Nations, when the two countries are members of the UNSC in 2021, as well as at ASEAN-led mechanisms and those within the framework of the Mekong – Ganga cooperation.

The PMs affirmed the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation, and peaceful settlement of disputes based on international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982). They emphasised UNCLOS as the legal framework governing all activities at sea and ocean, and urged the parties to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and soon complete a practical and effective Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in accordance with international law, especially UNCLOS.

At the end of the summit, the two leaders approved the “Vietnam-India declaration of common vision on peace, prosperity and the people” to orient the development of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries in the years to come.

On this occasion, the ministries and agencies of the two countries also signed seven documents and announced three cooperation programmes in the fields of defence, civil nuclear, oil and gas, clean energy, health, and development cooperation, heritage conservation and cultural exchange./.