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Jun 26, 2022 / 16:38

India naval ships visit Vietnam

During Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh’s visit to Hanoi from June 8 to 10, Vietnam and India released a joint vision statement on defense cooperation towards 2030.

Two Indian naval ships, INS SAHYADRI and INS KADMATT under the Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet, Rear Admiral Sanjay Bhalla, NM are making a port call at Ho Chi Minh City Port, Vietnam for three days starting on June 26. 

 Indian officers welcomed in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam during the visit on June 24-26. Photos: Embassy of India in Hanoi

The visit is special as it coincides with celebrations marking 50 years of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and India.

During the visit, there will be lots of activities between personnel of both the navies, official calls, interaction with dignitaries of the Vietnamese Government, guided tours for Indian Naval personnel to historic sites in and around Ho Chi Minh City, sports events, and Passage Exercise by both Indian Navy and Vietnam People’s Navy.

Bilateral defense relations are one of the key pillars of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, reaffirmed by India’s Defense Minister Rajnath Singh in his visit to Vietnam on June 8-10, 2022. Accordingly, a Joint Vision Statement for Vietnam-India Defense Cooperation towards 2030 was signed during the visit, which defines the future growth trajectory of their defense partnership over the coming decade. A Memorandum of Understanding on Mutual Logistics Support was also concluded, which simplifies procedures to enable efficient logistics support to each other.

In addition, Defense Industry cooperation is fast emerging as a vital component of the bilateral defense engagements. The project for the construction of 12 High-Speed Guard Boats for Vietnam Border Guards under the US$100 million Defense Line of Credit extended by the Government of India has been successfully completed. Both sides are also working on the early implementation of the projects under the 500-million Defense Line of Credit package provided by India. Several Indian Defense companies are actively partnering and participating in executing projects in Vietnam, in line with India’s Vision of “Aatma-Nirbhar Bharat” and “Make in India – Make for the World.”

 Indian navy officers at Nha Rong Terminal.  

Defense ties in broader relations

Navy to navy cooperation is the centerpiece of the bilateral defense partnership and covers a wide spectrum of activities, particularly in training, human resource development, bilateral exercises, repairs, maintenance, and logistics support aimed at capacity building.

Ship visits by Navy and Coast Guard Ships to each other’s country have now become a regular practice. A Vietnam People’s Navy Frigate 016 Quang Trung visited India in February 2022 to participate in the Multilateral Naval Exercise MILAN in Vishakhapatnam, India. The current ship visit to Vietnam is part of these ongoing engagements and seeks to enhance maritime cooperation between the two Navies. It will bolster the strong bonds of friendship between the two countries and contribute to peace, security and stability in the region and the world at large.

Vietnam-India relations have grown stronger in recent years due to a vibrant economic engagement and growing convergence on political, regional, and security issues.

Both sides attach great importance to the development of bilateral relations and have together shown commitment to maintaining high-level contacts during the challenging times of the Covid-19 pandemic. In December 2022, Prime Ministers of the two countries attended a virtual summit, during which several significant agreements were signed, including the Vietnam-India Joint Vision for Peace, Prosperity, and People. In April 2022, a phone talk was held between General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong and Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. In December 2021, Chairman of Vietnam’s National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue visited India. In April 2022, Speaker of India’s Lok Sabha Om Birla paid a visit to Vietnam.

There is growing convergence between India and Vietnam on various regional and international issues. In the emerging geopolitical and geo-economics landscape in the region and beyond, defense and security partnership between Vietnam and India is an important factor of stability in the Indo-Pacific region. Both nations are committed to achieving a peaceful, stable, secure, free, open, inclusive, and rules-based region. 

 Indian ship at Nha Rong Terminal.