- 26 Aug 2020
- 4 min read
Why in News
Recently, the 17th meeting of India-Vietnam Joint Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation was held.
- Both sides reviewed the recent developments in India-Vietnam Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (since 2016) and discussed the future trajectory of their wide-ranging engagement.
- Indo-Pacific Region:
- India and Vietnam agreed to enhance their bilateral cooperation in line with India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) and the ASEAN’s Outlook on Indo-Pacific to achieve shared security, prosperity and growth for all in the region.
- This has come in the backdrop of China’s aggression in the Indo-Pacific region including South China Sea region and its actions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with India.
- China claims sovereignty over most of the South China Sea, which is seen as having huge reserves of hydrocarbons and minerals. However, several ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member countries, including Vietnam, Philippines and Brunei, dispute the Chinese claims.
Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative
- IPOI was launched by the Prime Minister of India at the East Asia Summit in November 2019.
- It focuses on seven central pillars conceived around Maritime Security, Maritime Ecology, Maritime Resources, Capacity Building and Resource Sharing, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, Science, Technology and Academic Cooperation, and Trade Connectivity and Maritime Transport.
- Cooperation at Multilateral and Regional Forums:
- Both sides agreed to coordinate closely at multilateral forums, including at the UN Security Council, where both India and Vietnam will serve concurrently as non-permanent members in 2021.
- They also agreed to step up cooperation and coordination at important regional forums under the ASEAN framework.
- India and Vietnam closely cooperate in various regional forums such as East Asia Summit, Mekong Ganga Cooperation, Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM).
- India appreciated the positive leadership provided by Vietnam to ASEAN in 2020 when the world is faced with the Covid -19 pandemic.
- Vietnam is the chair of ASEAN for 2020.
- Economic Engagement:
- They agreed to explore closer cooperation in emerging areas such as civil nuclear energy, space, marine sciences and new technologies.
- India invited Vietnam to take advantage of India’s new economic capacities and demands.
- India underlined its vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat for enhancing resilience through self-reliance and human-centric globalisation as the basis for its economic revival.
- India reaffirmed its development and capacity building assistance to Vietnam through initiatives such as Quick Impact Projects (QIP), Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) and e-ITEC initiatives, PhD fellowships, as well as projects in water resource management in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region, SDGs, digital connectivity and heritage conservation.
- Vietnam is a key pillar of India’s Act East policy and there is a scope for further cooperation between the countries.
- The close relationship between the two countries is significant for the maintenance of strategic balance in South East Asia which is witnessing aggressive Chinese activities.