New Delhi. 06 June 2016. The Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar arrived in Hanoi on 05 June 2016 on an official visit to Vietnam. After his arrival the Defence Minister met the National Defence Minister of Vietnam, Gen. Ngo Xuan Lich. During their meeting, both Ministers reviewed the entire spectrum of defence cooperation initiatives between the two countries and focussed on measures to further strengthen their bilateral defence relations. Parrikar is the first guest of the National Defence Minister of Vietnam since his appointment in April 2016.
The two Ministers welcomed the efforts made by the Armed Forces of the two countries to further extend collaboration in new fields. Parrikar complimented Vietnam on their successful participation in the International Fleet Review held in India in February 2016. He also visited the elite 308 Division and complimented the efforts of the Vietnam People’s Army soldiers on their contribution in the past.
The Defence Minister also visited the Research and Development facilities of Viettel Group of industries and both leaders emphasised the need for greater defence industry cooperation. Parrikar attended a business roundtable meeting comprising defence industry delegates from the two countries. The meeting focussed on enhancing the defence industry networking, information sharing and exploration of possibilities for partnerships and collaborations between the two countries. The highlight of the meeting was the handing over of the bid document by Vietnam Border Guards to Larsen & Toubro Limited. India has recently provided Vietnam with a US$100 million Line of Credit which is being utilised by Vietnam for procurement of Offshore Patrol Boats for their Border Guards.
On the mechanism of exchange of information, both leaders emphasised the necessity for sharing of white shipping information to facilitate exchange of information in the maritime domain. The two sides also focussed on enhancing hydrographic cooperation.
Parrikar called on the President of Vietnam Tran Dai Quang and Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Xuan Phuc. The leaders reviewed the Strategic Partnership and the new initiatives undertaken to further strengthen it. They reiterated the resolve to continue high-level contacts between the leaders of both countries.
The visit by the Defence Minister underlines the strategic importance of the defence relationship and the personal priority that the leaders of both countries place on their strong bilateral relationship.