Context: Recently, Indian Defence Minister signed Defence Agreements with his Vietnamese counterpart which will significantly enhance the relationship between both the countries.
India-Vietnam Defence Partnership towards 2030:
- Both the Defence Ministers signed the ‘Joint Vision Statement on India-Vietnam Defence Partnership towards 2030’ to bolster bilateral defence cooperation.
Defence Line of Credit:
- The two ministers agreed on the finalisation of the USD 500 million Defence Line of Credit extended to Vietnam with implementation of the projects under it adding substantially to Vietnam’s defence capabilities and furthering the government’s vision of ‘Make in India, Make for the World.’
Mutual Logistics Support:
- Both inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Mutual Logistics Support.
Simulators and a Monetary Grant:
- India will gift two simulators and a monetary grant towards setting up of Language and IT Lab at the Air Force Officers Training School for capacity building of the Vietnamese Armed Forces.
- India had established the Consul General’s office in Hanoi as early as 1956.
- India had stood by Vietnam in opposing US intervention in that country at the cost of embittering Indo-US relations.
- The relationship was further strengthened when India, in the early 1990s, initiated its “Look East Policy”
- They have signed ASEAN- India Free Trade Agreement
- During the Financial Year (FY) April 2020 – March 2021, bilateral trade between India and Vietnam reached USD 11.12 billion.
- Vietnam is interested in India’s Akash surface-to-air systems and Dhruv advanced light helicopters and Brahmos missiles.
- The defence relations also include capacity building, dealing with common security concerns, training of personnel, and cooperation in defence R&D.
- India and Vietnam agreed to strengthen their strategic partnership “in line with India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) and the ASEAN’s Outlook on Indo-Pacific to achieve shared security, prosperity and growth for all in the region.”
- Cooperation at Multiple Fora like ASEAN, UNSC, Mekong Ganga Cooperation, Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM), etc
- The China factor also weighs heavily in the respective strategic calculus of India and Vietnam.
- Both countries had fought wars with China and both have border problems with that country. China aggressively continues to encroach in the territories of the two countries.
- Hence, it is natural for both the countries to come closer with a view to restrain China from its aggressive actions.
- Focus on Indo-Pacific region: Keeping in mind the strategic challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, both the countries should work together to maintain stability in the region
- Convergence of interest: Blue economy, building supply chain resilience, economic integration of the region etc.
India’s foreign policy envisages India to play an anchor for peace, prosperity and stability in Asia and Africa, deepening ties with Vietnam will only strengthen this narrative.
Source: The Hindu
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