India-Vietnam signed 7 pacts to strengthen Strategic Partnership

Sep 16, 2014 14:14 IST

India and VietnamIndia and Vietnam on 15 September 2014 signed seven pacts to further strengthen their strategic partnership in key sectors. These pacts included two agreements, a letter of intent and four memorandum of understanding.

The pacts were signed in the presence of President of India Pranab Mukherjee and his Vietnamese Counterpart Truong Tan Sang. Pranab Mukherjee is on a state visit to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam from 14-17 September 2014 at the invitation of Truong Tan Sang, President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Agreements/MoUs signed on 15 September 2014 are

Sl. No.

Agreement/MoU

Brief description of the Agreement/MoU

     

1.

Agreement between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters

The Agreement aims to strengthen, promote and develop cooperation and mutual assistance on matters pertaining to customs between India and Vietnam. The two countries shall assist each other for the prevention, investigation and combating customs offences for the proper application of customs laws and for facilitating legitimate trade. The two countries shall also cooperate and exchange information in their enforcement against the illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, precursor chemicals and other prohibited goods.

2.

MoU on 100 million dollar Line of Credit for Defence Procurement

The MoU provides concessional line of credit for procurement of defence equipment from India. Details of equipment to be procured by Vietnam are under finalization. The LoC opens new opportunities in our defence cooperation.

3.

MoU between the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in the field of Animal Health

The MoU establishes cooperation between India and Vietnam in the field of Animal Health including protecting territory of each other from introduction of animal diseases and infection caused by the trade of animals, products of animal origin and materials of animal reproduction. India and Vietnam shall also share special information on meat processing, meat products and slaughter houses/abattoirs. They shall cooperate in the training and upgrading of human resources in the field of animal health through exchange of delegations, workshops, expert visits, training and share information on veterinary research.

4.

MoU between National Fisheries Development Board, Hyderabad, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of India and Directorate of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam on Cooperation in the Field of Setting up of Pangasius Breeding and Farming in India

This MoU between India and Vietnam is aimed at cooperation in transfer of technology and setting up of Pangasius (catfish) breeding and farming in India and allied activities between the two countries through joint activities, programmes, exchange of scientific material, information and personnel. The joint activities shall be environmentally sound and sustainable. Annual Work Plan will be drawn and a Joint Technical Committee shall be formed to provide guidance, review progress and facilitate cooperation.

5.

MoU between the Ministry of Skill Development, Entrepreneurship, Youth Affairs and Sports of the Republic of India and the Central Committee of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam on Cooperation in Youth Affairs

The MoU provides the framework for programmes of cooperation between India and Vietnam in the field of youth development and excellence by encouraging and promoting an exchange of programmes, experience, skills, techniques, information and knowledge. The youth programmes shall include participation of young politicians, young entrepreneurs, young doctors, young journalists etc. It shall also involve participation of young people from both countries in youth festivals, seminars and conferences on youth related issues.

6.

Letter of Intent between ONGC Videsh Limited, India and Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam)

ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) and PetroVietnam signed an MoU on 20 November 2013 in the presence of the then Prime Minister of India and General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam with an objective to enhance mutual cooperation in hydrocarbon sector. PetroVietnam offered new blocks to OVL for oil and gas exploration and production. OVL is keen to expand its presence in Vietnam and is evaluating the blocks on offer. This Letter of Intent will further consolidate cooperation between India and Vietnam in energy sector and pave way for future collaboration between the two countries in this area.

7.

MoU between Jet Airways (India) and Vietnam Airlines Company Limited

Jet Airways and Vietnam Airlines have entered into this MoU for enhancing their presence in each other’s markets. The scope of the MoU involves code sharing on services of each other. From 5 November 2014, Jet Airways intends to extend its Mumbai-Bangkok flight to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. This service will also enable passengers travelling from Delhi to Bangkok, to connect on the extension flight beyond Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh City.

Apart from this, during this visit to Vietnam, President Pranab Mukherjee gifted sapling of the holy Bodhi Tree to Vietnam. This was the second sapling of the revered Bodhi tree from Gaya in Bihar and was planted in Vietnam's Presidential palace by President Pranab Mukherjee. This sapling was gifted 55 years after the first offshoot of the holy tree was given to it.

The President of the two nations, Pranab Mukherjee and Truong Tan jointly inaugurated the India Study Centre at Ho Chi Minh Academy of Politics and Public Administration in Hanoi.

 

Commentary and Analysis
These pacts will enhance the diplomatic relationship between the two countries that was established in 1972 and the strategic partnership in 2007, after which the bilateral relations have developed intensively.

Earlier, India as a country supported Vietnam’s independence from France and also opposed involvement in the Vietnam War and supported unification of Vietnam.

President Pranab Mukherjee’s visit can be put in the backdrop of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi government’s emphasis to give greater priority to India’s immediate and extended neighbourhood. Earlier in August 2014, Union Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj during her visit to Hanoi said India wants to turn its long-standing Look East policy into Acting East policy. During her visit, the two nations agreed to deepen cooperation in oil and defence sectors. Swaraj visit to Hanoi happened few days after, Hanoi renewed India’s lease of two oil blocks in Vietnam’s East Sea for another year.

The India-Vietnam relations would be a time for worry for China that shares hostile relations with Vietnam. This visit and pacts would be a disturbing point for China because India shares diplomatic disputes with China.

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