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Ambassador's Interview with VOV and VTC: Vietnam-India Cooperation will Develop Strongly in the Coming Time

Posted on: February 03, 2021 | Back | Print

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https://vov.vn/chinh-tri/dai-su-an-do-danh-gia-viet-nam-se-phat-trien-tich-cuc-sau-dai-hoi-dang-lan-thu-xiii-834947.vov 

https://vtc.vn/dai-su-pranay-verma-hop-tac-viet-an-se-phat-trien-manh-me-trong-thoi-gian-toi-ar594331.html 

1. Thank you for joining us today, Mr. Ambassador! To start with, you have been in Vietnam for more than a year, how do you evaluate Vietnamese people’s life and the country’s economic, social, political development?

The last one and half year of since I arrived in Vietnam has been a great experience. It is an amazingly vibrant country, with a rare blend of history, tradition and modernity. There is a long cultural history that India and Vietnam share that is visible when one travels around in Vietnam. Our heritage conservation project in Quang Nam province at the My Son Cham temple complex is one such example.  

I find the Vietnamese people very warm and positive towards India, which is really great to see. People are also full of hope and optimism about their future that shows the economic dynamism and forward-looking character of this great country.  Living here during the COVID-19 pandemic, I have also witnessed firsthand Vietnam’s effective handling of COVID-19 pandemic, which has earned the country so much international praise. 

2. The 13th National Party Congress of Vietnam has just finished. What do you think about the leading role of the Communist Party of Vietnam? What impresses you the most? (economic governance, social stability, response to Covid-19 ...)

The role played by the Communist Party of Vietnam in the country’s independence and reunification is well documented. Since the launch of Doi Moi reforms 35 years ago, Vietnam has consistently moved forward on the path towards national modernization, transforming itself from a war-ravaged impoverished nation to one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

The recently concluded 13th National Party Congress comes against the backdrop of a challenging year, which created many disruptions across the globe due to COVID-19. Vietnam successfully addressed the complex pandemic situation and brought economic stability and positive growth. Moving forward, the Congress has identified the opportunities and challenges that Vietnam faces and set the goal for socio-economic advancement over the next five to ten years. The vision for the country to become a high-income developed country by 2045 sets a clear long-term strategy for the nation’s development. As a close friend and partner, we wish Vietnam all success and stand ready to strengthen our multifaceted partnership to mutual benefit.   

3. Under a new government, how do you expect Vietnam-India relationship to be in the future and what will further promote bilateral relation between two countries?

Vietnam is one of India’s most trusted friends and closest partners. As Comprehensive Strategic Partners, there is a wide range of areas in which we are collaborating – ranging from political engagement to trade and investment ties, energy cooperation, development partnership, defence and security cooperation, cultural and people-to-people exchanges. During the Virtual Summit between our Prime Ministers in December 2020, they adopted a historic “Joint Vision for Peace, Prosperity and People” that will guide the future development of our ties.

Our defence partnership, and economic and development cooperation are the key pillars of our future engagement. Water resource management, healthcare, education and heritage conservation are some of the emerging areas of our development partnership that will grow. Domains like energy, space and digital technologies will acquire greater salience in our engagement, as both countries move decisively to embrace Industry 4.0. Direct connectivity that will bring both our peoples and businesses closer is another key priority of our future ties. I am confident that under the new government in Vietnam, the momentum of our engagements in all these areas will further intensify guided by the Joint Vision of our leaders.

4. A new year is coming, through the Voice of Vietnam, would you like to send some wishes to Vietnamese people?

Tet is the most important festival for the people of Vietnam marking the lunar New Year and celebrated not just all over Vietnam but also by the Vietnamese community living abroad. As the date of the festival draws closer, despite the difficulties posed by the pandemic, there is hope and festivity in the atmosphere. I feel that Tet is an important occasion for the people of Vietnam and all of us who live in Vietnam, to remember the importance of cultural traditions and values of family get-together and social bonding. I thank VOV to give me this opportunity through your channel to convey to all your listeners and viewers my warmest greeting for the Tet and a very happy and prosperous Year of the Buffalo! Chuc Mung Nam Moi! May the New Year be full of health and happiness for all and bring more of good news for our friendship!

5. 2020 is a hard year for all and for India: The pandemic, the economic downturn, the tension escalation with China…. What did India do to pass these challenges?

Well, 2020 was a difficult year for the entire world due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the way it impacted almost all aspects of our society and economy. India was no exception. But if you look at the situation today objectively, you can see that India has come out of the shadows of these difficulties much more strongly than many experts had initially predicted. The fatality rate for COVID-19 in India is one of the lowest in the world among major countries and active cases constitute less that 1.5% of the population.  

India has also managed to turn the crisis posed by COVID-19 into an opportunity in many ways. For example, we significantly raised our healthcare infrastructure and became an important net provider of health security for the world. This is visible in our providing essential medicines to nearly 150 countries around the world to fight the pandemic. It is also visible in India launching the largest vaccination drive ever seen in the human history with two “Made in India” vaccines, which are now being shipped to many countries.

Even economic revival is on track as witnessed in the positive growth trajectory in the last quarter and assessment that India will re-emerge as the fastest growing economy over the next two years. Prime Minister Modi’s vision of “Self-Reliant India” is leading us to create capabilities at home that would enable us to integrate more effectively with the world. Guided by this vision, India has taken some unprecedented steps in transformation of its infrastructure, agriculture, labour, education and MSME sectors, as well as in creating the most conducive environment for businesses to invest and operate. With these measures, we are confident that the India that emerges after the pandemic will be a stronger India than the one before the pandemic.   

6. What are the hardest challenges in 2021?

The challenge for 2021 is to learn the lessons of 2020 well and apply them effectively so that we become more adaptive and resilient in dealing with the aftereffects of the pandemic. The pandemic has added to the pre-exiting geopolitical and geo-economic complexities in the region and the world. Navigating those uncertainties will be a common challenge for all.

7. There’s a flow of supply chain shifts out of China to other countries. India is one of the most favourite countries among others. Could you tell us about this movement and how India welcomes it?

According to statistics reported widely, despite the pandemic related disruptions, India attracted Foreign Direct Investment worth US$ 57 billion in 2020, an increase of 13% compared to the previous year. This includes a major boost to investment in our digital economy, which is one of our priority areas, and where many global leaders have chosen India as a preferred destination. We believe that more than anything else, this is a result of some very decisive steps taken by the Government of India to transform our economy and the business environment, which has given enough confidence to the investors. As mentioned earlier, our Prime Minister’s vision of “Self-reliant India” is a major driver behind this transformation and has helped India in coming out of the shadows of the pandemic. 

8. What’s your opinion about the 13th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam?

The 13th National Party Congress took place amidst the unprecedented difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The fact that Vietnam has been able to largely contain the pandemic and is among the few countries in the world to achieve a positive economic growth, shows the effectiveness with which it has dealt with this challenge.  The Congress has identified the opportunities and challenges that Vietnam faces in the coming years and set the goal for socio-economic advancement over the next five to ten years. The vision for the country to become a high-income developed country by 2045 sets a clear goal for the country to work with a long-term strategy. As a close friend and partner, we wish Vietnam all success and stand ready to strengthen our multifaceted partnership to mutual benefit.  Vietnam’s development in the years to come will positively contribute to regional and global prosperity.

9. Could you tell us about the Vietnam-India relationship in the future, after the 13th National Congress of Communist Party of Vietnam?

Vietnam is one of India’s most trusted friends and closest partners. As Comprehensive Strategic Partners, there is a wide range of areas in which we are collaborating. During the Virtual Summit between our Prime Ministers in December 2020, they adopted a historic “Joint Vision for Peace, Prosperity and People” that will guide the future development of our ties.

Our defence partnership, and economic and development cooperation are the key pillars of our future engagement. Water resource management, healthcare, education and heritage conservation are some of the emerging areas of our development partnership that will grow. Domains like energy, space and digital technologies will acquire greater salience in our engagement, as both countries move decisively to embrace Industry 4.0. Direct connectivity that will bring both our peoples and businesses closer is another key priority of our future ties. I am confident that under the new government in Vietnam, the momentum of our engagements in all these areas will further intensify guided by the Joint Vision of our leaders.

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