Excellency Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc,
I would like to express my deepest appreciation to the Government of Vietnam and its leadership for the warm welcome extended to me and to the members of my delegation.
My visit to Vietnam is to nurture a relationship between our two societies and nations. The linkages between our two countries have deep historical and civilizational roots, going back over two thousand years. These cultural bonds reflect themselves in many ways. Most prominently, in the connect between Buddhism and the monuments of the Hindu Cham civilization. In recent decades, our shared and strong desire for the progress and prosperity of our peoples has shaped our ties. In India, we believe in sharing our knowledge, experiences and expertise with other developing countries. There can be no better example of this than in the success of our multifaceted bilateral cooperation with Vietnam over the last four decades. The Cuu Long Delta Rice Research Institute, is a prime example of the enormous impact of our cooperation. India helped set up the institute in the Mekong Delta, sending agricultural experts and training its faculty in India. Today, Vietnam is the world's third largest rice exporter. We are happy to have partnered with Vietnam in its emergence as a major rice producing and exporting country.
As two partners, we must also take advantage of our synergies to jointly face emerging regional challenges, and to exploit new opportunities. It is a matter of great satisfaction that, we have now decided to upgrade our relationship to a "Comprehensive Strategic Partnership". Next year, we will celebrate the forty fifth (45th) anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and tenth (10th) anniversary of establishment of the Strategic Partnership between our two countries. In a few months from now we will jointly commemorate these milestones.
I believe that a strong India-Vietnam partnership would lead to prosperity, development, peace and stability for our people, and in the wider region. Vietnam is a strong pillar of India's Act East Policy. Our bilateral ties are based on strong mutual trust, and understanding, and convergence of views on various regional and international issues.
Excellency, ladies and gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to invite you to join me in a toast:
- To the health and happiness of His Excellency Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, and all of you present here;
- To the wellbeing and prosperity of the people and leadership of Vietnam; and
- To everlasting friendship between India and Vietnam.