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Defence, trade, oil exploration to figure prominently in Modi-Phuc talks in Vietnam today

Narendra Modi

Hanoi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived in Vietnamese capital Hanoi Hanoi last night, will today hold bilateral talks with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc and will also meet President Tran Dai Quang to deepen ties in key areas of defence, security and trade, oil exploration, solar energy and some other sectors.

Besides, Prime Minister Modi will also meet Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang, Communist Party general secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, National Assembly Chairperson Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.

The Prime Minister will begin his day by paying homage to national heroes and martyrs at their monuments on Saturday morning. Prime Minister Modi, who is the fourth Indian Prime Minister to visit Vietnam during past about 50 years, will be given guard of honour and ceremonial welcome by the Vietnamese Government.

Later, both the sides will hold bilateral talks, followed by a banquet lunch hosted by Prime Minister Phuc at International Convention Centre in the honour of Prime Minister Modi.

Earlier, upon his arrival in Hanoi, senior government functionaries of the Vietnamese Government and Indian Ambassador P. Harish, along with other officials, welcomed Prime Minister Modi at Nai Bai International Airport. Hundreds of Indian and local schoolchildren waving national flags of both the countries were also present at the airport.

In the meantime, extending his greetings to the people of Vietnam on their National Day, before leaving for the two-nation tour, the Prime Minister in a series of posts on his Facebook account said Vietnam is a friendly nation with whom we cherish our relationship.

“Today (Friday) evening, I will reach Hanoi in Vietnam, marking the start of a very important visit that will further cement the close bond between India and Vietnam. My Government attaches a high priority to our bilateral relations with Vietnam. The India-Vietnam partnership will benefit Asia and the rest of the world.

“During the visit, I will hold extensive discussions with Prime Minister Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc. We will review complete spectrum of our bilateral relationship.

“I will also meet the President of Vietnam, Mr. Tran Dai Quang, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong; and the Chairperson of the National Assembly of Vietnam, Ms. Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.

“We wish to forge a strong economic relationship with Vietnam that can mutually benefit our citizens. Strengthening the people-to-people ties will also be an my endeavour during the Vietnam visit.

“In Vietnam, I will have the opportunity to pay homage to Ho Chi Minh, one of 20th century’s tallest leaders. I will lay a wreath at the Monument of National Heroes and Martyrs as well as visit the Quan Su Pagoda.”

Briefing the media here on Friday, Secretary (East), External Affairs Ministry, Preeti Saran, said: “Vietnam is India’s important strategic partner and the visit is aimed at further strengthening bilateral ties, including defence, security and trade.

“Vietnam is a central pillar of India’s Act East Policy and our priorities for cooperation range in a whole host of areas, including defence and security, trade and investment, maritime cooperation, energy resources, in integrating our self to the ASEAN community and for leveraging our interactions in the regional and international forums,” said Saran.

“Defence and security cooperation with Vietnam is very robust, which includes counterterrorism, trans-national crimes. Our focus is on capacity building, training, high-level exchanges and more recently defence procurement,” she added.

Stating that India’s bilateral trade with Vietnam has been growing at almost 26 percent per annum in the last few years and today it stands at 7.8 billion dollars, she said, “We have surplus trade with Vietnam to the tune of 2.8 billion dollars. Last time when our leaders met, they agreed to set up a trade target of 15 billion dollars by 2020. And the areas that we focus in our trade relationship are in textile, pharmaceuticals, machinery, IT and other service sectors.”

The Prime Minister will leave for Hangzhou, China, from Vietnam in the evening on Saturday to attend the G-20 Summit on September 4 and 5.

“During the visit, India will take up issues like cross-border mobility of professionals, terror financing, tax evasion and reduction in remittance transaction cost among others,” said Secretary (West) Sujata Mehta.

She said Prime Minister Modi will be the lead speaker at the session on inclusive and inter connected development.

On the sidelines of the Summit, the Prime Minister will have bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. It would be the first meeting between Prime Minister Modi and President Jinping after their meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit held in Uzbekistan capital Tashkent.

“I will visit Hangzhou, China from 3-5 September 2016 for the Annual G-20 Leaders Summit. I will arrive in Hangzhou from Vietnam where I would have concluded an important bilateral visit.

“During the G-20 Summit, I will have an opportunity to engage with other world leaders on pressing international priorities and challenges. We will discuss putting the global economy on the track of sustainable steady growth and responding to emerging and entrenched social, security and economic challenges.

“India will engage constructively on all the issues before us and work towards finding solutions and taking forward the agenda for a robust, inclusive and sustainable international economic order that uplifts the socio-economic conditions of people across the world, especially those who need it most in developing countries. I look forward to a productive and outcome oriented Summit,” said Prime Minister Modi in Facebook post. (ANI)

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