India and Vietnam on Wednesday decided to launch a biennial security dialogue to expand their strategic partnership, and signed an agreement to increase energy cooperation.
The growing India-Vietnam ties are placed in the context of China’s assertiveness in the region, which also includes it opposing Indian companies going into South China Sea for oil and gas explorations.
The two countries also decided to more than double their bilateral trade from $2.7 billion to $7 billion by 2015 and agreed to boost the two-way investment.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described India’s strategic partnership with Vietnam “a factor of peace, stability and development” in the Asia-Pacific region. He also said the relationship stood “on its own merits”.
“A strong India-Vietnam relations is a factor of peace, stability and development in the Asia-Pacific region. It stands on its own merits. The president’s visit has give a new thrust and direction to this partnership,” Manmohan Singh said after his meeting with Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang.
The two sides inked a crucial extradition treaty and agreed to boost cooperation across a broad spectrum of areas, including trade, energy, science and technology, IT and conservation and restoration of Indian cultural relics in Vietnam.
“We have instituted a mechanism of a biennial dialogue on security issues between our ministry of home affairs and its Vietnamese counterpart. The extradition treaty signed today will provide a legal and institutional basis for our cooperation,” said Manmohan Singh.