Hanoi, April 19 (IANS) Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, who is leading a 13-member Indian Parliamentary delegation to Vietnam on a three-day visit, on Tuesday held bilateral meetings with President of Vietnam Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Chairman of National Assembly of Vietnam Vuong Dinh Hue.
In his meeting with the President Phuc, Birla said that the two countries have transformed their relationship into a “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership”.
Birla mentioned that the comprehensive strategic partnership includes political ties, trade and investment treaties, energy cooperation, development partnership, and defence and security cooperation.
He noted that India and Vietnam have a long tradition of mutual cooperation in challenging global circumstances. He expressed happiness that two nations have helped each other in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Birla further said that economic relations between India and Vietnam have gained momentum over the years. He added that despite the disruption caused by the Covid pandemic, bilateral trade between the two countries stood at over $13 billion last year.
He mentioned that the defence partnership between the two countries, which has grown significantly based on common interests, has expanded into new areas including defence industrial and technical cooperation.
He hoped that the strong bilateral defence cooperation between India and Vietnam will contribute to international peace, regional security and prosperity.
During the day, Birla also called on Prime Minister of Vietnam Pham Minh Chinh and held wide ranging discussion on bilateral matters.
Speaking about economic and trade cooperation, Birla said that Indian investors have keen interest in Vietnam and urged the Prime Minister to create favorable conditions for them in order to encourage more investment.
Birla also noted that India and Vietnam have cooperated with each other in taking up global issues as non-permanent members in the UN Security Council.
He added the two countries have been working closely with ASEAN towards a free, open, peaceful, prosperous, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific region. He further remarked that peace and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region has increased through the Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative (IPOI) and ASEAN’s Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP).
Emphasising on regular bilateral parliamentary exchanges, Birla observed, that regular visits between countries provide opportunities to share views and strengthen legislative cooperation.
He added that for this purpose, India-Vietnam Friendship Group is being formed to provide a new dimension to the mutual relations between the Parliaments of the two countries through regular mutual exchange.