Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Wednesday said that Vietnam is one of India's closest partners and an important pillar of the country's Act East policy and Indo-Pacific vision.
Birla's remarks came during his interaction with the Secretary-General of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong on the second day of his visit to the country.
During his interaction, the Lok Sabha speaker said that India and Vietnam share a common outlook on issues of global and regional peace. Speaking about matters of regional and global importance, Birla said that as countries facing similar challenges and sharing similar developmental perspectives, India and Vietnam can further expand their cooperation in areas such as climate change and sustainable development, health care, and the digital economy.
Underlining the two countries' shared vision in the defence sector, Birla noted that the Indo-Vietnam defense partnership is growing rapidly in areas like defense industry, maritime security, capacity building programs, and UN peacekeeping. He added that these defense ties are a major contributor to the peace, security, and stability of the Indo-Pacific region. Birla urged the Vietnamese leader to make efforts to further strengthen this strategic partnership.
Speaking about trade and economic ties, Birla noted that India and Vietnam strive to build reliable and strong supply chains. He further remarked that despite the disruptions by the pandemic last year, the bilateral trade between the two countries stood at over USD 13 billion. He also called for the widening of trade ties in order to ensure that bilateral trade of USD 15 billion could be achieved quickly.
The lower house speaker also lauded the long-term and mutually beneficial partnership between India and Vietnam in the energy sector. He mentioned that ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) has been involved in offshore power projects in Vietnam for more than three decades. Birla expressed hope that the OVL contract would be renewed for another 15 years.
An Indian parliamentary delegation led by Birla arrived in Hanoi, Vietnam on a three-day visit here on Tuesday and held bilateral meetings with several high-level leaders of the country.
The delegation accompanying the Lok Sabha speaker consists of MPs CP Joshi, Riti Pathak, Rahul Ramesh Shewale, Rajani Patil, Harnath Singh Yadav, Mitesh Rameshbhai Patel, and Lok Sabha Secretary-General Utpal Kumar Singh.
Earlier, the Lok Sabha Speaker and the members of the delegation also visited the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh in Ho Chi Minh City and laid a wreath there.