Vietnam, India hold 18th meeting of joint committee for cooperation hinh anh 1
Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son (right) and his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar sign the minutes of agreement of the 18th meeting of the Vietnam-India Joint Committee for Economic, Trade, Science and Technology Cooperation. (Photo: VNA)

At the meeting, the two sides comprehensively reviewed and assessed the bilateral relations since the 17th meeting in August 2020 and the implementation of the action plan on the Vietnam - India comprehensive strategic partnership for the 2021-2023 period.

The two ministers were pleased with the recent sound development of the Vietnam - India comprehensive strategic partnership, particularly the two countries celebrated the 50th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties with many meaningful activities in 2022.

The two sides agreed to increase the exchange of delegations and meetings at all levels between the two countries, maintain the effective implementation of existing bilateral cooperation mechanisms, and soon put into operation the dialogue mechanism on economic diplomacy at the deputy foreign minister level.

They pledged to promote the development of an action programme for the 2024 – 2026 period, continue to strengthen defence and security cooperation in the spirit of the Joint Vision Statement on the Vietnam - India Defence Partnership towards 2030 as well as promote negotiations and soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding on judicial cooperation between the Ministry of Justice of Vietnam and the Ministry of Law and Justice of India.

Both sides were pleased to see the successful recovery and development of economic and trade cooperation after the COVID-19 pandemic, with bilateral trade exceeding 15 billion USD in 2022, surpassing the target set by the two countries’ senior leaders. They agreed to closely coordinate to create a favourable environment for trade and investment activities, striving to bring the trade turnover to 20 billion USD soon.

In this spirit, Son suggested India consider reducing trade barriers and trade defence measures against Vietnamese goods and services, and facilitate the import of Vietnamese steel.

The Indian minister supported the two sides' early extension of the Memorandum of Understanding on economic and trade cooperation for the 2018 – 2023 period and agreed to effectively implement the Framework Agreement on Agricultural Cooperation, which allows some fruits and processed products of the two countries to be exported to each other's market, adding that the two countries should apply online payment methods soon.

Discussing development cooperation, and education and training partnership, Jaishankar agreed to continue supporting Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) as well as annual scholarships under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) and Cultural Exchange Programme Scholarship Scheme and General Cultural Scholarship Scheme (CEP/GCSS).

The two ministers agreed to strengthen cooperation in science, technology and information and expedite the organisation of the 4th meeting of the Joint Working Group on Information Technology as well as negotiate and sign the Vietnam-India Digital Partnership Agreement.

Son hailed India's assistance in restoring, preserving and embellishing My Son Sanctuary, which was recognised by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as a World Cultural Heritage in Quang Nam province. He also agreed to increase the exchange of art and sport delegations, and encourage tourism businesses of the two countries to step up tourism, culture and cuisine promotion activities and diversify tourism services and products.

The two ministers committed to consider increasing direct flights between the two countries to enhance cooperation in tourism, economy, trade and people-to-people exchanges.

They also agreed to continue to coordinate and support each other at multilateral forums, especially at the United Nations.

Jaishankar affirmed that India supports ASEAN’s centrality in the regional structure, considers ASEAN as the focus of India's "Act East" policy and pledged to strengthen Mekong - Ganga cooperation.

Both sides reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, safety, and freedom of navigation and aviation, and compliance with international law in the East Sea, resolving disputes based on international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), including the full respect for diplomatic and legal processes, neither using force nor threatening to use force, and refraining from actions that complicate or escalate conflicts, and affect peace and stability in the region and the world.

At the end of the meeting, the two ministers signed the minutes of agreement of the meeting and agreed to organise the 19th meeting of the Vietnam-India Joint Committee in India at an appropriate time.

They also attended a ceremony to release a set of joint postage stamps between Vietnam and India to mark the 50th founding anniversary of diplomatic relations (1972-2022).

On this occasion, Jaishankar invited Son to make an official visit to India.

Vietnam, India hold 18th meeting of joint committee for cooperation hinh anh 2
Chairman of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations Le Hoai Trung (right) receives Indian Ministers of External Affairs  Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. (Photo: VNA)

The same day, Chairman of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations Le Hoai Trung hosted a reception for Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, during which both sides hailed the strong development of Vietnam-India traditional friendship and comprehensive strategic partnership and agreed to continue promoting cooperation in all fields as well as coordination and consultation at multilateral forums.

The two sides also discussed cooperation through Party channel and discussed a number of international and regional issues of mutual concern./.VNA