Viet Nam and India are not only faithful friends but also comprehensive and reliable partners, a diplomat said in New Delhi on January 4.
"Looking back on the past 35 years since Viet Nam and India established diplomatic ties, we are proud of the traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation of the two countries, which have developed continuously for the benefits of both people and for peace, stability and cooperation and development in the region and the world," Vietnamese Ambassador Vu Quang Diem said in an interview with the Viet Nam News Agency.
The relationship is the inheritance and development of a friendship, which has been evolving for a thousand of years through trading and cultural exchanges, maintained by generations of Vietnamese and Indian leaders, the diplomat said.
Viet Nam and India have conducted renewal processes and both have made achievements which have opened many opportunities for their cooperation.
The traditional friendship and strategically multifaceted cooperation between Viet Nam and India have not only played an important role in ensuring sustainable development of the two countries, but have also been important factors for peace, stability, development and integration in the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large, Diem said.
He stressed that Viet Nam always highly appreciates the international role and position of India and fully supports it as a potential permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.
However, the ambassador continued that in the ever-changing global community, Viet Nam and India should strengthen co-ordination for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.
Over recent years, both sides have made great efforts to boost economic relations. In 2006, their two-way trade value was estimated at nearly US$850 million.
According to the ambassador, geo-political and geo-economic advantages, and the demand for reform, integration and development of each country together with their consolidated bilateral ties and the region's growing economic cooperation have facilitated Viet Nam-India trade, investment, sci-tech and tourism cooperation.
However, he acknowledged that the economic, commercial, sci-technological and educational ties between Viet Nam and India remain modest.
He cited few trade and investment promotions from both nations, particularly Viet Nam, inappropriate cooperation policies and inconvenient conditions for the economic exchanges, such as the lack of direct flight and the existence of tax and non-tax barriers, as major reasons behind this situation.
"It's time to strongly reform relations, particularly economic, commercial, scientific and educational relations, between Viet Nam and India, and define new targets and new measures to make bilateral ties more practical and efficient and to better tap the great potentials of the two countries," the ambassador stressed.
Mentioning India's Eastward Policy, Diem said, the policy has brought encouraging results for India to improve and enhance its relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in particular, and with Eastern countries in general.
He added that Viet Nam was proud of contributing to the relationship between India and ASEAN and was "willing to continue acting as a bridge for India to consolidate cooperation with ASEAN and with other forums in Asia-Pacific.
India has become a full dialogue partner of ASEAN and actively participated in many other regional forums such as ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN-India Summit, and East Asia Summit.
India and ASEAN signed an agreement on comprehensive economic cooperation in 2003.