New Delhi: Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang, who is on a three-day visit to India, was on Saturday accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in the presence of his Indian counterpart Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“And this is how we welcome our esteemed guest! Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang was accorded a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan in the presence of President Shri Ram Nath Kovind and PM Narendra Modi,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
President Quang landed in Bodh Gaya in Bihar, a Buddhist pilgrimage site, earlier on Friday before reaching New Delhi in the evening. Modi and Quang will hold a bilateral meeting later in the day following which a number of agreements are expected to be signed. The visiting dignitary will also attend a Vietnam-India Business Forum and the opening ceremony of the Vietnam Days in India 2018.
Vietnam is an important partner in southeast Asia and is currently the country coordinator for India with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) regional bloc, a role that will be handed over to Thailand later this year. Apart from Asean, India and Vietnam closely cooperate in other regional forums such as the East Asia Summit, Mekong Ganga Cooperation, Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) besides the UN and WTO.
India-Vietnam trade stood at $6.24 billion in fiscal 2016-17 and the two sides have agreed to raise this to $15 billion by 2020. Defence has emerged as an important pillar of the bilateral relationship and Indian ships regularly make friendly port calls to Vietnam.
India is also an important development aid partner for Vietnam and has extended several lines of credit for capacity building in the southeast Asian nation. Vietnam is also among the larger recipients of scholarships offered under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme.