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Ambassador's Remarks at Webinar on India-Vietnam Relations Organised by CGI, HCM City

Posted on: August 13, 2021 | Back | Print

Ambassador Pranay Verma’s Remarks at the Webinar on

India – An Emerging Global Power and its

Relationship with Vietnam

(13 August 2021)


Ambassador Shyam Saran

Prof. S.D. Muni

Ambassador Ton Sinh Thanh

Associate Prof. Hoang Van Viet

Consul General of India Dr. Madan Mohan Sethi

All Distinguished Participants at today’s webinar!


It is a great pleasure to see two of India’s foremost experts in international affairs and foreign policy – Amb. Saran and Prof. Muni – joining us today to talk about India-Vietnam relations.

The webinar is part of the series of events we are hosting in Vietnam to mark the 75th Independence Day of India on August 15 and to celebrate our festival of independence which we call in the Hindi language “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav”.

In India, 75 years ago, when we began the journey from the throes of underdevelopment – to this day, when India is counted as one of the world’s largest economies, it has been a journey of reflection, achievements, aspirations and resolve. In its nation-building endeavour, India has been guided at once by the ideals of self-reliance as well as the spirit of international partnership.

At 75, India today is at the cusp of making monumental forward strides. This transformation to a ‘New India’ is not just about economic growth. It is also about good governance, people’s empowerment – particularly through use of technology, and an inclusive and sustainable development model that brings benefits to all.

With its size, capacities and ambitions, India is poised to be a major factor in the post-pandemic global revival. 

India’s willingness to shoulder important responsibilities for the global good and its quest for shared peace, development and prosperity are also embodied in its philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, that is, “the whole world is one family” and the doctrine of SAGAR – Security and Growth for All in the Region.

As we celebrate India’s 75th Independence Day, it is also an appropriate moment to reflect on India’s relations with Vietnam. I say so because in the middle of our celebrations for “India At 75”, we are soon going to reach another landmark in India-Vietnam ties – the 50th anniversary of our diplomatic relations in January 2022.

These 50 years, and indeed longer – even since our independence, has been a remarkable journey of togetherness for both India and Viet Nam, as the two countries not only overcame adversities, but also supported and inspired each other in their pursuit of nation-building.

The depth of our ties has been affirmed frequently in our relations, most recently when we elevated our relations to a “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership” in 2016.

This partnership today spans a wide-range of collaboration – from political engagement to economic and development partnership, defence and security cooperation, energy cooperation, cultural exchanges and people-to-people contacts. Despite the disruptions caused by COVID-19, our multifaceted engagement has moved forward, including at the highest levels.

Our businesses are reengaging after initial disruptions due to the pandemic. Last year, our trade volume continued to cross the $10 billion mark, which shows a promising future for business ties between our two fast growing economies. New opportunities are presenting themselves as COVID-19 has pushed us into rethinking the old ways of engaging with each other. We are today exploring new supply chains and new partnerships with each other. 

Our development partnership has entered new domains including space applications, information and communications technology, civil nuclear energy, water resources development and so on. Our Quick Impact Projects in many provinces of Vietnam are bringing speedy and tangible socio-economic benefits to common people. Our heritage conservation projects in Vietnam, which are unraveling new evidences of our deep civilizational and cultural connection, add a new dimension to our development partnership. The growing popularity of Yoga in Vietnam continues to highlight our cultural and people-to-people ties.

Our defence partnership has moved forward along several dimensions, including military exchanges, joint exercises, peacekeeping, ship visits, to name a few. Defence industrial cooperation is a new focus of our engagement, with defence Lines of Credit worth US$ 600 million being oriented towards strengthening Vietnam’s domestic defence manufacturing.  In the Joint Vision adopted at the Virtual Summit between our prime Ministers in December 2020, they agreed that enhancing our defence and security partnership will be an important factor of stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

In the wider global and regional context, both India and Vietnam are today contributing to regional and global peace and development through UN Peacekeeping, as well as through committed actions towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals and addressing Climate Change. 

Both India and Vietnam are concurrently serving as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council this year. Using this opportunity, and with their voices of moderation and inclusivity, respect for international law and commitment to reformed multilateralism, both countries have expanded their cooperation on global issues. Just last week, Prime Minister of Vietnam joined an Open Debate on Maritime Security hosted by Prime Minister Modi under India’ on-going Presidency of the Council this month.  


Ladies and Gentlemen!


As we look to the future, there is enough confidence on both sides that this important relationship is poised to move on an upward trajectory. And for good reasons.

(i) Foremost is a deep reservoir of political and strategic mutual trust and understanding that provides a solid foundation for our cooperation to take a new leap forward.

(ii) We also share developmental instincts as two aspirational societies with a young demography yearning for progress and prosperity.

(iii) Faced with the uncertainties of COVID-19, both India and Vietnam aspire for self-reliance to become self-sustaining and resilient. However, our self-reliance is not about self-isolation, but rather to build capacities at home so that we can engage in global economy more capably, more confidently. 

(iv) Our nationalism, too, unlike much of the rest of the world, is not inward looking, but rather very internationalist in outlook.  We are ready for greater engagement and integration with world, and willing to shoulder regional and international responsibilities for collective good and mutual development.

(v) We are also two countries increasingly driven by the promise of new technologies, innovation, and digitization to deliver economic growth and people’s empowerment. The Digital India Mission and Vietnam’s Digital Society campaign are two fine examples.

(vi) As two maritime nations, India and Vietnam have shared stakes in peace, stability and development of our shared Indo-Pacific region. That’s why whether it is India’s “Act East Policy” or our “Indo Pacific Vision” or our commitment to “Security and Growth for All in Region” or SAGAR – Vietnam figures very prominently in each of them.


Ladies and Gentlemen!


Today when we celebrate India’s 75th Independence Day, it is an occasion for us to reaffirm our commitment to take our special relationship – our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership – with Vietnam to newer heights.

As we resolve to make a ‘New India’ that meets the aspirations of its citizens and plays a leading role for the good of larger humanity, we look at Vietnam as a steadfast partner.

Thank you!