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Focus on defense, security at Prime Minister Modi’s summit with his Vietnamese counterpart | India News


NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a major summit meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Monday as India and Vietnam continue to bear the brunt of Chinese expansionism. Defense ties between the two countries, as in the recent past, will once again be one of the main areas of focus with Vietnam set to acquire a high-speed patrol boat from India and both sides are finally looking to put a line of $ 500 million credit (LOC) offered by India to Hanoi for defense acquisitions.
In a significant statement last week, Vietnam’s ambassador to India, Pham Sanh Chau, said that Vietnam expected more investment from Indian companies in its oil and gas sector, in particular for the Essar Exploration group to increase its investment to $ 11. billion.
India is also helping Vietnam, which remains locked in maritime territorial disputes with Beijing in the South China Sea (SCS), to acquire high-speed ships through a $ 100 million LOC. The first of these ships has been built by LnT and is likely to be launched this week.
Given that the security situation in SCS will likely be discussed at the summit, official sources here said the two countries have shared interest in a free, open, peaceful, prosperous and rules-based regional order. India is likely to reiterate its commitment to freedom of navigation and overflight and compliance with international laws, in particular UNCLOS.
Official sources said that during the summit, the two leaders will exchange views on wide-ranging bilateral, regional and global issues and provide guidance for the future development of the India-Vietnam Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. They are also likely to cast a joint vision for this.
Additionally, various agreements / announcements are likely to be made covering areas such as defense, energy, development partnerships, and healthcare. Progress will continue in the implementation of the India Defense Credit Line for high speed guard ships for Vietnam. New opportunities in renewable energy cooperation will also be explored, “said a source.
Sources said that both India and Vietnam were important countries in the Indo-Pacific region with important maritime interests. This will allow the two sides to explore potential cooperation based on India’s IPOI (Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative) and ASEAN’s AOIP (ASEAN Indo-Pacific Outlook) to which Vietnam subscribes, the official said. .
However, the challenge would be to finalize a framework agreement to implement India’s $ 500 million defense LOC for Vietnam. Hanoi was said to have expressed interest in using it for infrastructure development, rather than defense, when President Ram Nath Kovind visited Vietnam two years ago. If the two countries manage to reach an agreement, it is sure to surprise many in Beijing.
According to the authorities here, since India and Vietnam are also going to simultaneously serve on the UN Security Council in 2021 as non-permanent members, new opportunities have opened for closer cooperation on regional and international affairs, as well as their agenda. shared for “respect for international law and reformed multilateralism.”
“The timing of the Virtual Summit in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic will also allow the two leaders to take stock of the regional and global panorama and exchange points of view on their respective strategies to face the pandemic and the post-pandemic economic reactivation. In this context, the existing economic and trade links between the two countries provide a useful platform to explore new and resilient supply chains, “said a source.

Times of India