About Us Speeches

Remarks by Consul General Dr. Madan Mohan Sethi on 50th Anniversary of Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between India and Vietnam on 6th January, 2022

Posted on: September 17, 2022 | Back | Print

Good Morning,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today is an important day and a milestone reached by both India and Vietnam in their long relationship. We have successfully forged and maintained our friendship and partnership for the last five decades. I am sure, our relations will strengthen further with passage of time.

2. The year 2020 and 2021 was a tumultuous year for the whole world. The Covid 19 pandemic did not spare any country of the world - be it highly developed and technologically advanced western nations or be it the developing countries of Africa and Asia. In spite of each country getting occupied in its war against this pandemic, friends came forward to help each other. Vietnam is a trusted friend of India and we appreciate the huge humanitarian assistance supported by Vietnam and Vietnamese people to India during the catastrophic Covid crisis India faced during the months of April to June, 2021. We will definitely remember this wonderful and friendly gesture.

3. Today, we are celebrating the occasion in the backdrop of the pandemic which has not shown any ebb in its severity. I hope with cooperation among countries, soon we may all enter in to the situation that existed before the Pandemic.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

4. India and Vietnam’s relationship goes back to thousand of years back. There is a strong historical connection binding both the countries together. We are happy to note of the excavations and finding of Great Indian civilisation artifacts in different parts of Vietnam - the most notables being in My Son, Ninh Thuan and Cát Tiên archaeological site, approx. 150 kms from Ho Chi Minh City.

5. Our modern relationship is characterized by friendly support and standing for each others’ struggle against colonial rule between our founding leaders. India was the Chairman of the International Commission for Supervision and Control (ICSC) in 1954. PM Nehru visited Vietnam in 1954 and President Ho Chi Minh visited India in 1959. The strong brotherly friendship between leaders of both countries President Ho Chi Minh and PM Nehru was really remarkable. Both India & Vietnam have shared political & strategical interests. In 2007, we had ‘Strategic Partnership’, which was elevated to ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ in 2016. The Virtual Summit between PMs of two countries in December 2020 and the recent visit by Chairman of the National Assembly of Vietnam to India further consolidated our relation and cooperation.

6. Our relationship with Vietnam in every area and field have become stronger and stronger. From a small trade value of US$200 million in 2000, we have reached a figure of US$12.04 billion in 2019. In spite of Covid-19 induced disruption to logistics and travel, in 2020-21, it reached a healthy figure of US$10.04 billion. This FY, we may like to reach the figure of US$14 billion. However, there is huge untapped potential in our trade keeping in mind that India offers a huge market and there is a large and growing middle class emerging in India in back of high economic growth. Vietnamese entrepreneurs from different sectors can definitely explore establishing trade relationship with Indian counterparts. We will certainly assist.

7. Both India and Vietnam have many positive factors to attract Foreign Direct Investment. Indian investment in Vietnam is quite less while compared to others, it is same for the investment made by Vietnamese companies. The Indian Embassy and Consulate are working together to create awareness on opportunities for investment in different sectors in Vietnam for Indian companies. Certainly, Indian companies can invest in areas of infrastructure, agriculture, smart agriculture, renewable energy, manufacturing, textile, automobile, education, healthcare, pharmaceutical, tourism and hospitality to name a few. We also invite commercial chambers and associations of Vietnam in different sectors to plan to visit India and participate in our various Trade and Investment Shows. The Consulate will be happy to assist.

8. Our cooperation with Vietnam extends to most important areas of education, oil & gas exploration, hydropower projects, training, diplomacy, entrepreneurship, space technology, defence training, etc. Both India & Vietnam have similar stands on most international issues. As our policy is to promote human resources of our friends, we have trained more than 1400 Vietnamese officials & students through scholarships offered under ITEC and ICCR courses. So far, 37 QIPs have been undertaken in 33 provinces of Vietnam to set up community needed infrastructure in education, water, agriculture and building of classrooms. In the recent visit of Chairman of the National Assembly of Vietnam to India, both countries signed 12 agreements which include cooperation in new areas of communication & postal sector apart from blockchain development. Our development cooperation also extends to training in counter insurgency operations and training of Vietnamese defence personnel in peacekeeping operations apart from goodwill visits by our naval ships and joint naval exercises.

9. Understanding the importance to share our legacy of friendship and cooperation to younger generation, Indian Studies Centre has been set up in USSH, Hanoi and HCMC. Yoga and Buddhism again bind people of both countries. Both countries have promoted people to people exchange through youth delegation exchange programmes and visit of large group of Buddhist Monks from India to visit Vietnam in 2016. With e-visa facility for Vietnamese tourists and citizens, in future we will see more Vietnamese people visiting India.

10. Our cooperation is also extended to humanitarian assistance. While Indian Government sent 3,000 sets of personal goods to people affected by floods in the central region of Vietnam in December 2020, Vietnam came forward to send assistance in the form of ventilators, oxygen concentrators, PPE kits, masks, etc., to India when India was going through a bad phase of Covid crisis in year 2021.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

11. India as we all know is growing and developing in all spheres. In the last 75 years since it’s independence, India has become self sufficient in food production, has become the 4th largest automobile producer, become the IT and Pharmacy hub of the world. We were the fifth country in the world to isolate the Covid -19 virus in March 2020. It is the country which is now producing three vaccines for the Covid-19. What I mean to say, India has developed extensive strength not only in areas of higher education and research and development but also in health care, agriculture & manufacturing, IT, etc. Every day, there is a new story of India’s growth and development. The success of Indians acquiring top positions in international organisations and MNCs show the strenth of Indian education system. I invite leaders of HCMC and other provinces to have more engagements with us and to identify areas where we can jointly share our knowledge, expertise and training.

12. While our top institutions like Indian Institute of Technology, Indian institute of Management, All Indian Institute of Medical Science, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Indian Institute of Science, Indian Institute of Information Technology may not have fancy infrastructure like their counterparts in other countries but the rigorous teaching system has allowed Indians to reach top positions in the world. Indian consulate is currently working with 27 local institutions including universities to develop linkages with Indian counterparts, once the pandemic is lessened, we will do large number of student and academics exchanges apart from training.

13. The Covid crisis provided an opportunity to all countries to think and innovate. India also did not wait back. A revolution in application of digital technology in every sphere of human life be it marketing, education, health care happened in India in 2020 & 2021. About 44 Indian start ups have become unicorns in 2021 and innovative solutions have been designed for every sector be it healthcare, education and others. I know, Vietnam has plan to become a digital country by 2030. We can join together in the area of start up, innovation. We can also mentor some of the brilliant minds of young Vietnamese.

14. India is a land of diversity. It is a sight for every traveller and tourist of the world. Now, we have air connectivity between Delhi and Kolkata City of India with Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. I understand there is plan to connect more cities of Vietnam particularly Phu Quoc, Nha Trang to Indian cities. It will be wonderful to get Indians to visit this beautiful country and also our Vietnamese friends to visit India. Extensive exchange of tourists will help in creating awareness on both countries among the people.

Dear Friends,

15.  I am here for last 16 months. I have visited all most all 29 provinces and had very fruitful discussion with the provincial leaders. We want to become partners in the development of Human Resources be it for engineers, doctors, IT experts, academics. The Indian Consulate is soon going to conduct training in English language of about 30 teachers of Gifted School of Tay Ninh and about 45 government officials of Kien Giang Province. We will also do training of young media professionals by Indian Institute of Mass Communication, one of the top media institute of India. My office is also planning to train 500 entrepreneurs from HCMC & other provinces in this year.

16. I am happy to notice that we have a small but strong Indian expat community staying in Ho Chi Minh City. Some members have stayed for more than two to three decades and have become part of the local society. I appreciate the contribution of Indian community under supervision of INCHAM to share an important medical device to Tropical Diseases Hospital in HCMC this year in August, 2021.

17. I am glad to see the pace of development and reforms undertaken by central and provincial government of Vietnam. Vietnam’s emergence on global supply chain has been well recognized by all. Both India & Vietnam can complement each other in most areas, be it trade, investment, IT, service, tourism, hospitality, health care, higher education, etc.

18. At the last, I must like to express my gratitude on behalf of Government of India, the city government and Department of External Relations for hosting this meeting. I would also like to extend thanks for large presence of leaders from other provinces. We commit ourselves to continue this beautiful bond of friendship and partnership with all our provinces and will work together to realize our goal of a prosperous Vietnam & India.

Long live our friendship.