India, Vietnam must jointly face emerging regional challenges: PM Modi

Hanoi [Vietnam], Sept. 3 : Expressing satisfaction in upgrading India's relationship with Vietnam to a "Comprehensive Strategic Partnership", Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that both countries as partners must also take advantage of synergies to jointly face emerging regional challenges and exploit new opportunities.

"As two partners, we must also take advantage of our synergies to jointly face emerging regional challenges and to exploit new opportunities.

It is a matter of great satisfaction that we have now decided to upgrade our relationship to a "Comprehensive Strategic Partnership," he said.

Speaking at the luncheon banquet hosted by his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister Modi expressed his deepest appreciation for the warm welcome and said that both sides would celebrate the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and tenth anniversary of establishment of the Strategic Partnership in 2017.

Prime Minister Modi emphasized that Vietnam is a strong pillar of India's Act East Policy. "I believe that a strong India-Vietnam partnership would lead to prosperity, development, peace and stability for our people, and in the wider region.

Vietnam is a strong pillar of India's Act East Policy. Our bilateral ties are based on strong mutual trust and understanding, and convergence of views on various regional and international issues," he added.

Declaring that his visit to Vietnam is to nurture a relationship between the two societies and nations, he recalled that linkages between both sides have deep historical and civilizational roots going back to over two thousand years.

"These cultural bonds reflect themselves in many ways, most prominently in the connect between Buddhism and the monuments of the Hindu Cham civilization," he added.

In a bid to bolster bilateral ties, India and Vietnam inked a dozen of agreements, including protocol on double taxation avoidance agreement, in the presence of Prime Minister Modi and his Vietnamese counterpart.

Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson Vikas Swarup told ANI, "12 MoUs and agreements were signed today ranging from health to defence to space." "It has been agreed that we will upgrade our strategic partnership to a comprehensive strategic partnership.I look at this visit as setting a new benchmark for India-Vietnam ties which will take our relationship to a whole new level," he added.

The other agreements signed are cooperation in exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes, MoU between BIS and STAMEQ for mutual recognition of standards, contact with L (and) T for utilization of (Dollar) 100 million LoC for offshore Patrol boats, cooperation in the field of health, celebrating 2017.

Source: ANI