NEW DELHI : Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh and his Vietnamese Counterpart General Phan Van Giang signed the the joint vision statement “Defence Partnership towards 2030” in Hanoi. India and Vietnam on Wednesday signed a joint vision statement on “Defence Partnership towards 2030” to bolster bilateral defence cooperation, and a memorandum of understanding to simplify procedures for mutually beneficial logistics support, the defence ministry said in a statement.
The two ministers also agreed to an early finalisation of India’s $500 million defence line of credit to Vietnam, with implementation of the projects under it adding substantially to Vietnam’s defence capabilities and furthering the government’s vision of ‘Make in India, Make for the World,’ officials said.
“Had an excellent meeting with General Phan Van Giang, the Defence Minister of Vietnam. We renewed interactions on expanding bilateral cooperation. Our close Defence and Security cooperation is an important factor of stability in the Indo-Pacific region,” Singh wrote on Twitter.
On the first day of his visit, Singh also announced the gifting of two simulators and a monetary grant for setting up a Language and IT Lab at Air Force Officers Training School for capacity building of the Vietnamese armed forces.
Singh began his visit by paying respects to Vietnam’s founding father President Ho Chi Minh at his mausoleum in Hanoi. He will also preside over the handing over ceremony of 12 high-speed boats to Vietnam at the Hong Ha yard in Hai Phong, with the boats built by L&T under India’s $100 million defence Line of credit to the south-east Asian country.
His itinerary includes visits to training institutions of Vietnam at Nha Trang, including the Telecommunication University where an Army Software Park is being set up with $5 million grant from India, the officials said.
The visit comes at a time when India and Vietnam are marking 50 years of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations. The two countries have comprehensive strategic partnership since 2016, and defence cooperation is a key pillar of the relationship.
Vietnam is an important partner in India’s Act East policy and the Indo-Pacific vision, the ministry said. “Bilateral defence engagements have expanded over a period of time to include wide-ranging contacts between the two countries, including defence policy dialogues, military-to-military exchanges, high-level visits, capacity building and training programs, ship visits and bilateral exercises.”