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PM grants interview to Indian Economic Times

VGP - PM Nguyen Tan Dung granted an interview to the Indian Economic Times during his official visit to India from October 27-29.

Mr. Prime Minister, is Viet Nam able to ensure the interests of foreign oil and gas companies currently active in the East Sea? What should regional countries do to enhance cooperation, control the situation and maintain a stabilizing environment in the region?

The recent instabilities and tensions in the East Sea have shown that peace, stability, maritime and aviation security and safety, and freedom of navigation can only be ensured once all countries, especially those directly involved, seriously comply with international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), refrain from any unilateral actions that may further complicate the situation and from the use or threat of force, fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and soon conclude a Code of Conduct (COC).

Viet Nam believes that if the parties concerned persevere with the resolution of maritime issues through peaceful means, on the basis of international law including the 1982 UNCLOS, fully and seriously implement the 2002 DOC, soon conclude the COC, refrain from any actions that may further complicate the situation and worsen disputes, then all disputes and disagreements will be controlled and tension will not arise.

Viet Nam welcomes and is committed to creating every favorable condition for normal economic cooperation activities between Vietnamese oil and gas companies and their foreign partners, including Indian companies, in the Exclusive Economic Zone and continental shelf of Viet Nam in keeping with the Vietnamese law and international law, particularly the 1982 UNCLOS.

Mr. Prime Minister, did the recent visits to Viet Nam by the President and Minister of External Affairs of India represent a signal for closer relations between the two countries? Which areas of cooperation will be expanded in your upcoming visit to India? What do you expect from the new Government in India and from this visit? What are the investment opportunities in Viet Nam for Indian enterprises? Which areas in India do Vietnamese companies wish to invest in?

Viet Nam and India enjoy a time-honored and sound traditional friendship and close bonds. This relationship was founded by President Ho Chi Minh and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and has been nurtured and fostered by the leaders and people of both countries through generations. The two countries have always demonstrated solidarity, cooperation and mutual support during the past struggles for national liberation, independence and freedom as well as in the cause of national construction and development in each country today.

The political ties between the two countries have been increasingly strengthened on the basis of mutual trust given the exchange of visits and meetings at all levels and through all channels. Particularly, since the establishment of Strategic Partnership in 2007, the friendship and cooperation between Viet Nam and India have seen rapid growth, particularly on the pillars of bilateral cooperation such as politics, trade and investment, defense-security, science-technology, culture and education. The two countries have become each other's important economic partners, and are striving to achieve the target for bilateral trade of US$7 billion by 2015 and US$15 billion by 2020.

It is my pleasure to pay an official visit to India at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During the visit, I will hold talks with Prime Minister N. Modi and have discussions with other senior Leaders of India on measures to deepen the close friendship and Strategic Partnership between Viet Nam and India. On the sideline of the visit, a Business Forum will be held with a view to promote opportunities for bilateral economic, trade and investment cooperation. It is expected that a large number of contracts and agreements will be signed on this occasion.

We firmly believe that Viet Nam - India relations will continue to gain important developments in all areas. Earlier, the President and Minister of External Affairs of India have chosen Viet Nam as the first country outside South Asia to visit within 100 days since the introduction of the new Government in India. This sends a strong message of the special importance that both countries continue to attach to Viet Nam - India relations.

As the two dynamically-growing economies in Asia which enjoy sound traditional friendship and close political ties, Viet Nam and India have many potentials and opportunities to intensify mutually beneficial economic cooperation. The two sides are cooperating effectively in a wide range of areas such as economic affairs, trade, investment, science-technology, defense-security, education, culture, etc. Both sides still have many plans and vast potentials to tap into in order to move the bilateral cooperation further forward in such fields as infrastructure development, aviation connectivity, oil and gas, agriculture, people-to-people exchange, tourism, etc. The two sides will also discuss measures to maximize the strengths of each country. Viet Nam will facilitate India to diversify sources of input supply for Viet Nam's textile and garment, chemical and other industries. We will also cooperate with India in agriculture and fishery and take advantage of her scientific and technological advances. Particularly, we would like to grasp the opportunities offered by the major reform programs initiated recently by Prime Minister Modi's Government, including the "100 smart cities" and "Make in India".

How can India and Viet Nam expand defense cooperation and strategic partnership and what are the new areas for cooperation?

On the basis of sound cooperation and Strategic Partnership, the two sides will discuss measures to further promote cooperation in all areas of politics, defense-security, and economic affairs, and at the same time expand cooperation in aviation, tourism, science-technology, culture and education, among other fields.

The defense and security cooperation between the two countries has seen good progress, particularly in information and experience sharing, training, capacity building, crime prevention and combat. Defense and security cooperation is considered a pillar of the Strategic Partnership. During the visit, I am going to discuss and agree with Indian leaders about the major directions and concrete measures to promote bilateral cooperation in all areas in order to unleash and optimize both sides' potentials and strengths.

India's demand for energy has been increasing. What potential areas of cooperation do you think Viet Nam and India can work on?

Viet Nam and India has been cooperating in oil and gas exploration and extraction since 1988. Bilateral cooperation in this area has been increasingly growing. Indian companies such as ESSAR and the Indian Oil and Natural Gas Corporation are active and effective partners of Viet Nam. We will continue to create favorable conditions for and ensure the interests of Indian companies active in this field.

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