SOURCE: THE HINDU
India will hand over one High Speed Guard Boat to Vietnam, announced the Ministry of External Affairs on Monday. The decision was one of several taken during the Prime Minister-level summit meeting attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc during which both sides committed to “step up military to military exchanges.”
“Peace, stability and prosperity are our shared purpose in the Indo-Pacific region. Our partnership can make a significant contribution in maintaining stability and peace in the region,” said Mr. Modi in his opening remarks launching the virtual summit. He said India and Vietnam had “similarity in views” on the challenges facing the world and the South-Southeast Asian region.
He also launched the Vision Document for India-Vietnam engagement from 2021 to 2023 covering areas such as defence, scientific research, peaceful civil nuclear cooperation, petro-chemical, renewable energy and cancer treatment. Both sides announced implementation of the High Speed Guard Boat (HSGB) Manufacturing Project for Vietnam Border Guard Command under the $100 million Defence Line of Credit that India earlier extended to Vietnam. Under this scheme, one completed HSGB boat was being handed over to Vietnam, the Ministry of External Affairs announced.
Both sides will undertake new development partnership projects in heritage conservation in Vietnam (F-block of Temple at My Son); Dong Duong Buddhist Monastery in Quant Nam province and Nhan Cham Tower in Phu Yen province. The ancient temples of Vietnam have survived the bombing by the U.S. forces during the Vietnam war in the 20th century but are in need of urgent conservation measures.
The summit also announced nine agreements covering diverse areas such as IT, peace keeping and cancer research. One specific agreement will cover $5 million Indian Grant Assistance for Army Software Park at National Telecommunications University, Nha Trang, Vietnam. Both sides committed to promote bilateral cooperation between the “regulatory bodies of the two countries in the fields of radiation protection and nuclear safety.”
India also announced completion of seven development projects with Indian “Grant-in-Aid” assistance of $1.5 million for the people of Vietnam’s Ninh Thuan province.