Hanoi: India and Vietnam on Wednesday signed the ‘Joint Vision Statement on India-Vietnam Defence Partnership towards 2030’ which will significantly enhance the scope and scale of existing defence cooperation between the two countries.
The Joint Statement has been signed during the bilateral talks held between Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Vietnam’s Minister of National Defence General Phan Van Giang here.
Wide-ranging discussions on effective and practical initiatives to further expand bilateral defence engagements and regional and global issues were held between the two sides, Defence Ministry said.
India and Vietnam also inked a Memorandum of Understanding on Mutual Logistics Support.
In these times of increasing cooperative engagements between the defence forces of the two countries, this is a major step towards simplifying procedures for mutually beneficial logistic support and is the first such major agreement which Vietnam has signed with any country, Defence Ministry said.
Both Ministers also agreed on the early finalisation of the $US 500 million Defence Line of Credit extended to Vietnam.
Implementation of the projects will add substantially to Vietnam’s Defence capabilities and further Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Make in India, Make for the World, Defence Ministry added.
The Defence Minister also announced gifting two simulators and monetary grants towards setting up of Language and IT Lab at Air Force Officers Training School for capacity building of the Vietnamese Armed Forces.
Rajnath Singh began his official visit to Vietnam by paying respects to late President Ho Chi Minh at his Mausoleum in Hanoi. He also visited Tran Quoc Pagoda, a revered Buddhist temple which reaffirmed the age-old civilizational and people-to-people linkages between the two countries.
The minister is on a three-day visit to Vietnam, from June 8-10, at the invitation of Gen Phan Van Giang.
During the visit, Rajnath will hand over 12 High-Speed Guard Boats to Vietnam at the Hong Ha Shipyard in Hai Phong amid reports of Chinese naval vessels moving close to oil rigs in the South China Sea being jointly developed by India and Vietnam.
The Boats are constructed under the Government of India’s USD 100 million Defence Line of Credit to Vietnam.
This project is significant in the context of the growing defence industry cooperation with Vietnam and exemplifies Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat and Make in India, Make for the World, Defence Ministry said in a statement.
India and Vietnam share a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership since 2016 and defence cooperation is a key pillar of this partnership.
Vietnam is an important partner in India’s Act East policy and the Indo-Pacific vision. Both countries share a rich history of civilisational and cultural linkages spanning over 2,000 years.
India and Vietnam continue to have the most trustworthy relations in contemporary times with broader convergence of interests and common concerns.
Bilateral defence engagements have expanded over a period of time to include wide-ranging contacts between the two countries, including Defence Policy Dialogues, military to military exchanges, high-level visits, capacity building and training programs, and cooperation in UN Peace Keeping, ship visits and bilateral exercises.
Notably, the Quad countries (India, Australia, Japan, and the United States), in their meeting last month in Tokyo decided to intensify ties with the 10 ASEAN countries and Vietnam is an ASEAN country.