Vietnam plays important role in India’s Act East Policy: Indian lower house leader

Vietnam plays important role in India’s Act East Policy: Indian lower house leader
Vietnam plays important role in India’s Act East Policy: Indian lower house leader hinh anh 1Speaker of the Lok Sabha (House of Representatives) of India Om Birla (R) at an interview with Vietnam News Agency correspondent (Photo: VNA)
New Delhi (VNA) – Vietnam is one of the major pillars in India’s Act East Policy and an important factor helping India strengthen partnership with the ASEAN, said Speaker of the Lok Sabha (House of Representatives) of India Om Birla.

Granting an interview to a Vietnam News Agency correspondent in New Delhi on the occasion of Vietnamese National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue’s official visit to India from December 15-19, Birla underlined that the Vietnam-India 50-year ties have been developed on a firm foundation of cultural and civilisational connections as well as strong mutual trust and understanding.

"Over the last 49 to 50 years, our relationship has grown from strength to strength- covering diverse areas of cooperation, such as trade and investment, defence, development partnership, cultural cooperation and people to people exchange," he said, adding that the elevation of ties to comprehensive strategic partnership in 2016 has helped further consolidate the two countries' close partnership, and has paved the way for future cooperation.

He said he believes that the Vietnamese top legislator’s visit will add momentum to India and Vietnam's tradition of maintaining close parliamentary cooperation.

According to the Indian legislative leader, over the last two years, the world has been facing unprecedented disruptions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, and during those difficult times, India and Vietnam have stood by each other, supplying critical medicines and equipment to support their fight against the pandemic. He added that the two Parliaments also played an important role, guiding and giving direction to these efforts. 

Regarding cooperation between the two countries, Birla said that in the framework of the Mekong–Ganga Cooperation, India has implemented several Quick Impact Projects, building community level infrastructure, which are directly benefiting the people of Vietnam.

He went on to say that many Vietnamese students have benefited from scholarships to study in India, and have contributed to bringing the two countries closer, adding that he hopes more students would come to India utilizing the 1000 PhD fellowships offered to ASEAN countries.
"In coming times, keeping with the spirit of “Act East Policy”, we also hope to enhance both physical and digital connectivity with Vietnam," Birla said.

He said that  India and Vietnam share common long-term interest in maintaining peace, stability and development in the Indo-Pacific region, which has been shown in the joint vision for peace, prosperity and people that was adopted in 2020.

Asked about what Vietnam and India should do to maintain peace, stability and prosperity in Asia and Indo-Pacific, as well as in the South China Sea, the legislative leader said Vietnam and India have an abiding interest in maintaining peace, stability and development in the Indo-Pacific region, which is also reflected in the “Joint Vision for Peace, Prosperity and People”  adopted by the two countries in December 2020, when both Prime Ministers participated in the Virtual Summit. 
The two countries also share the fundamental principles of respect for international law and rules-based order, adding to the factor of stability in the Indo-Pacific region, he said.
"Therefore, both countries must continue to strengthen their partnership, bilaterally, as well as through ASEAN framework and other multilateral mechanisms," he said./.

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