Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi along with Vietnam Institute for Indian and Southwest Asia Studies (VIISAS), Hanoi, an affiliation of Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, organised an international webinar on “New Horizons in India-Vietnam Relations” on 7 October 2020. The webinar had two components: Inaugural Session and two Panel Discussions. Hon’ble Minister of State for External Affairs, Shri V. Muraleedharan delivered the Key Note Address and Hon’ble Deputy Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vietnam H.E. Mr. Nguyen Minh Vu gave his remarks during the Inaugural Session.
2. Dr. T.C.A. Raghavan, DG, ICWA, Prof Dang Anh, Vice President, VASS, Amb. Pranay Verma, Ambassador of India to Vietnam and Amb. Pham Sanh Chau, Ambassador of Vietnam to India gave remarks in the Inaugural Session. It was stated that India-Vietnam relations have come a long way with 2000 years of civilizational links and five decades of diplomatic relations to form Strategic Partnership in 2007 and Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2016 and is built on the strong foundation of mutual trust and understanding. Vietnam is a key pillar of India’s Act East Policy and shares a strong convergence of interests and views on regional and global issues. Both India and Vietnam have an important role in the maintenance of an open, transparent, inclusive and rule-based Indo-Pacific regional architecture.
3. In the Keynote Address Hon’ble Minister of State for External Affairs, Shri V. Muraleedharan stated that as the global trade and business re-positions in the post-Covid scenario offers, opportunities for India and Vietnam to further strengthen economic cooperation by building new supply chains and partnerships are emerging. In this context, it is important to upgrade the 2008 Indian-ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement, as it does not reflect the current realities. Recent developments in archaeological and heritage conservation projects offer new opportunities further to uncover the full spectrum of India-Vietnam cultural relations. The growing popularity of Yoga is an illustration of growing cultural and people-to-people ties. Other speakers stated the importance of elements like Yoga, India’s Act East policy, Indo-Pacific vision, SAGAR initiative, Pharmaceutical sector- focusing on generic drugs production - which strengthen relations between India and Vietnam.
4. The first panel discussion ‘Vietnam and India in the new regional and global context’ was moderated by Prof. Prabir De, Coordinator, ASEAN-India Centre. The panellists were: Dr. Sanjay Pulipaka, Senior Fellow, Delhi Policy Group and Assoc. Prof. Nguyen Xuan Trung, Director-General, VIISAS, VASS. It was stated that there is a need to ensure that multipolarity of Asia is maintained. Both Vietnam and India are in favour of a multipolar world order. Aggressive territorial assertions need to be contested.
5. Thesecond panel discussion ‘New horizons in Vietnam – India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ was moderated by Prof. Cu Chi Loi, VASS. The panellists were: Dr. Dhrubajyoti Bhattacharjee, Research Fellow, ICWA and Dr. Le Thi Hang Nga, Deputy Editor-in-chief, Journal for Indian & Asian Studies, VIISAS, VASS. Prospects for furthering cooperation in the defense sector were discussed. The view was expressed that the textile sector had the potential to become a key cooperation sector in India-Vietnam trade relations. Both sides agreed that the discovery of the 9th century monolithic Shiv Linga in My Son in Vietnam by the Archaeological Survey of India showcased the deep civilizational connect between India and Vietnam and called for furthering cooperation in archaeology to fully appreciate the cultural and historical links between the two countries.