India-Vietnam Comprehensive Strategic Partnership


    In News 

    Recently ,India-Vietnam complimented each other on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations .

    Major Points 

    • They expressed satisfaction over the rapid pace of wide-ranging cooperation under the India-Vietnam Comprehensive Strategic Partnership .
    • Vietnam’s importance was highlighted as an important pillar of India’s Act East Policy and Indo-Pacific Vision.
    • The Prime Minister of India also requested for greater facilitation of market access for India’s pharma and agri-products in Vietnam.
    • They also exchanged views on regional and global issues of shared interest, including the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and the situation in South China Sea.

    India and Vietnam Relations 

    • Historical roots :
      • India and Vietnam, with historical roots in the common struggle for liberation from colonial rule and the national struggle for independence, share traditionally close and cordial bilateral relations. 
      • Mahatma Gandhi and Ho Chi Minh, regarded as the Father of Nation in India and Vietnam respectively, led people in their heroic struggle against colonialism in the two countries.
      •  India was the Chairman of the International Commission for Supervision and Control (ICSC), which was formed pursuant to the Geneva Accord of 1954 to facilitate the peace process in Vietnam.
      •  India initially maintained Consulate-level relations with the then North and South Vietnams and later established full diplomatic relations with unified Vietnam on 7 January 1972. 
    • Institutional mechanisms for bilateral exchanges
      • There are several bilateral mechanisms at different levels between India and Vietnam. 
      • The Joint Commission Meeting at the Foreign Ministers’ level and the Foreign Office Consultations and Strategic Dialogue at Secretary-level provide the broad framework for bilateral consultations encompassing all areas of mutual interest. 
      •  Indian Naval Ship INS Kiltan undertook a visit to Ho Chi Minh City to deliver flood relief materials for the people of Central Vietnam. 
        • It also participated in the PASSEX Exercise with the Vietnam People’s Navy.
    • Bilateral Trade
      • From a meagre US$ 200 million in the year 2000, bilateral trade between India and Vietnam has seen steady growth over the years. 
      • According to Indian statistics, during the Financial Year (FY) April 2020 – March 2021, bilateral trade between India and Vietnam reached US$ 11.12 billion, with Indian exports to Vietnam amounting to US$ 4.99 billion and Indian imports from Vietnam at US$ 6.12 billion. 
      • In FY 2020-21, for India, Vietnam was the 15th largest trading partner globally and the 4th largest within ASEAN, following Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.
        • For Vietnam, on the other hand, India was the 10th largest trading partner globally.
    • Development Partnership
      • India has a long-standing development partnership with Vietnam that has made positive contributions towards capacity building, Sustainable Development Goals and socioeconomic development of Vietnam. 
      • India has also been providing assistance to Vietnam within the ASEAN framework. 
      • Under the Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC) framework, India has been taking up Quick Impact Projects (QIPs), each valued at US$ 50,000, in different provinces of Vietnam for development of community infrastructure.
    • Culture Cooperation
    • The Swami Vivekananda Indian Cultural Centre (SVCC) was established in Hanoi in September 2016 to promote a comprehensive understanding of India and to foster closer links between peoples of both countries through cultural exchanges. 
    • Both countries also have regular exchange of youth delegations. 
    • Tourism and People-to-People Contacts
    • Tourism exchanges were affected during 2020 due to COVID-related disruptions following the positive growth witnessed after the long-awaited direct flights between the two countries commenced in October 2019 and the year 2019 was celebrated as the ASEAN India Year of Tourism.
    • Both countries have facilitated a simplified visa regime to promote bilateral tourism. 
      • In December 2017, Vietnam extended e-visa facilities to Indian citizens travelling to Vietnam. India has had an e-tourist visa arrangement for Vietnamese citizens since 2015.
      • During 2020, nearly 900 Indian nationals stranded in Vietnam due to COVID related travel disruptions were repatriated to India by special flights organised by the Government of India under the Vande Bharat Mission.
    • Indian Community
      • An estimated 5500 people from India, including some short-term visitors, constitute the Indian community in Vietnam.
    • China factor
    • Both countries have border problems with that country. 
    • China aggressively continues to encroach in the territories of the two countries.
    • Hence, it is natural for both the countries to come closer with a view to restrain China from its aggressive actions.
    • Keeping in mind the strategic challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, primarily those posed by China, India and Vietnam should work in close coordination at multilateral institutions such as the U.N. Security Council, where both India and Vietnam are elected to be non-permanent members in 2021.