Vietnam – India: Strengthening Comprehensive Strategic Partnership
for the Interest of the Two Peoples; for Peace, Stability and Prosperity in the Region and the World
The image of our Indian brothers taking to the streets in support of the righteous resistance against American imperialism of the Vietnamese people, the slogan “Amar Nam, Tomar Nam, Vietnam, Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, Dien Bien Phu” on their lips, shall be forever etched in the consciousness of the Vietnamese people. From the bottom of our hearts, we wish to express our deepest gratitude for the pure and sincere love, unfazed by hardship and unshaken by storm as it is, that the people of India have given to the people of Vietnam over the years.
Today, in a rapidly changing world we are proud to witness the traditional, faithful friendship between our two countries and peoples not just remaining true but even flourishing. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stressed that Vietnam is the top priority in the effort to strengthen India's relations with the Asia-Pacific. As seen from Vietnam’s foreign policy, India has always been one of the most important partners.
Exactly sixty years ago during his visit to India, our beloved President Ho Chi Minh asserted that “India is an independent and mighty nation that has made many invaluable contributions to peace in Asia and the world”. This observation remains relevant today. We are glad to note that in recent years India's rise has been closely linked with the prosperity and affluence of Asia as a whole. India's peaceful development has always worked as an important and constructive factor to regional peace and stability. With her vast potential and great contributions, India surely deserves a greater role in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region and the world.
For this reason, Vietnam welcomes India continuing to play her important role in the region. We consistently support your active participation in regional linkages and cooperation mechanisms, including APEC, as well as India’s becoming a Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council.
Today our two countries have established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, setting forth our similar interests and values as well as our understanding and position regarding regional and global issues. Our two sides are working towards implementing the 2017-2020 Action Plan, already recording significant results. Political, defense, and security cooperation has all been expanded and become strategic pillars in our bilateral relations. Economic and trade cooperation is growing dramatically as well. Development cooperation and joint efforts in education, training, culture, tourism, and people-to-people exchanges are deepening, creating an enduring social foundation for our bilateral ties.
2017 was the “Friendship Year” celebrating the 45th anniversary of Vietnam–India cooperation. Our relations have entered a new period of development, and this requires renewed efforts and determination from both sides in order to realize always-greater achievements and live up to the expectations of our two peoples. The goal of our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership is nothing other than a strong and prosperous Vietnam that develops sustainably; a powerful India with growing prestige and status in the international arena; and our joint contribution towards the maintenance of peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the region and the world.
To this end, I wish to share with you some of my thoughts on the future direction of Vietnam–India relations.
First, we need to strengthen economic and trade connectivity as a pillar and driver of the Vietnam–India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Accordingly, we need to overcome the mentality of protectionism, promote trade/investment liberalization, and upgrade infrastructure, maritime and aviation connectivity in both the bilateral context and the framework of sub-regional and regional plans. Vietnam supports and will coordinate accordingly so that India will become an important element in the ASEAN Connectivity Master Plan, finalizing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement in 2018.
We should promote maritime connectivity as a key area, not just in bilateral relations but also in the context of peace, stability and development in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. Our two sides need to engage in regular information exchanges, experience-sharing, and capacity-building in handling maritime security matters. We should work together to develop a “blue-sea economy” through maritime connectivity, port cooperation, and environmental protection and the sustainable use of maritime resources. We should also make efforts to foster the maritime order and settle disputes peacefully on the basis of international law, including the 1982 United Nations' Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Furthermore, we should strengthen connectivity in realizing the SDGs in both countries, closely linking the United Nations' 2030 Action Agenda to regional cooperation frameworks including the Mekong-Ganga mechanism. Vietnam hopes to effectively and substantively work with India in such areas as green agriculture, green technology, clean and renewable energy, capacity enhancement in information technology, disaster prevention and relief, and climate change response.
We should continue to work closely together in building a new and open regional architecture that is inclusive and shares the values and interests of peace. We should effectively implement all elements of the Vietnam–India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and the ASEAN–India Strategic Partnership with a new vision. Good strategic partnership at all levels will yield benefits not only for Vietnam and India but also for peace and development in the region.
In addition, our two countries need to work together more closely in multilateral forums, in particular in UN and ASEAN mechanisms. We should more actively take part in building and shaping of cooperation frameworks and norms, making substantive contributions to the common efforts of the international community to ensure peace, cooperation and development, thus bringing about a brighter future for the Indo-Asia-Pacific.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Prime Minister Nehru, the great friend of President Ho Chi Minh and the Vietnamese people, once said: “Time is not measured by the passing of years but by what one does, what one feels, and what one achieves”.
From the history spanning thousands of years of our two peoples' enduring cultural ties, from the heartfelt friendship between us, from our shared vision for the future -- and given the strong effort and determination of our two countries' leaders and peoples -- there is every reason to believe in an ever-flourishing Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between Vietnam and India. This indeed will become a pillar of regional integration and development, playing a key role in the 21st-century miracles of the Indo-Asia-Pacific and making significant contributions to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.
May the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library continue to flourish, thus disseminating the values of humanism, fraternity, and peace that so characterize India to the region and to the world.
I wish you good health, happiness and success. Thank you for your attention.