• Prime Minister of the Republic of India and Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam co-chaired a Virtual Summit during which they exchanged views on wide-ranging bilateral, regional and global issues and set forth the following Joint Vision for Peace, Prosperity and People to guide the future development of India – Vietnam Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.


    • India Vietnam Relations India and Vietnam have enjoyed close ties based on their shared history of fighting against colonial rule. In addition, there is a deep cultural connection between the two as well.
    • Strategic – Vietnam is also an important partner in Southeast Asia and is currently the country coordinator for India with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) regional bloc.
    • Defense and Security– India has been training the Vietnamese military in operating its Russian-built Kilo-class submarines and SU-30 fighter jets. 
      • After the signing of the MoU on Defense Cooperation by the two Defense Ministers in November 2009, the relations have grown from strength to strength. 


  • Vietnam called on India to play a more proactive role in Southeast Asia while India on the other hand reiterated the importance of international law, especially the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), in settling the South China Sea issue


    • Oil diplomacy – Vietnam privatised their oil and gas sector in 1988. Since then, India’s ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) has been undertaking oil cooperation with Vietnam. To facilitate deeper oil cooperation, India’s OVL has set up a joint venture with Petro Vietnam primarily for oil exploration.


  • In terms of Multilateral Cooperation, apart from ASEAN, India and Vietnam closely cooperate in other regional forums such as the East Asia Summit, Mekong Ganga Cooperation, Asia Europe Meeting besides the UN and WTO.


Vietnam’s Importance for India 


  • Act East Policy– Vietnam is an important element of India’s Act East Policy, which aims to re-invigorate its historical ties with countries in Southeast and East Asia. Also, as a member of ASEAN, it is an important enabler for India’s growing trade and investment ties with the rest of Southeast Asia 
  • Physical Connectivity- With the election of a civilian government in Myanmar, there are ample opportunities for closer connectivity between India and Vietnam via Myanmar and existing transit routes in Cambodia and Laos.


  • Energy Cooperation- India’s growing economy needs energy resources and Vietnam has rich hydrocarbon reserves. India’s state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has been searching for oil in disputed waters off Vietnam, though China objected to this.

Way Forward

    • Vietnam is a key pillar of India’s Act East policy and there is a scope for further cooperation between the countries.
    • The close relationship between the two countries is significant for the maintenance of strategic balance in South East Asia which is witnessing aggressive Chinese activities.


  • Both Countries need to leverage the economic opportunities available because of anti-China sentiments and several manufacturing firms deciding to shift from China.


  • Keeping in mind the strategic challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, primarily those posed by China, India and Vietnam should work in close coordination at multilateral institutions such as the UN Security Council, where both India and Vietnam are elected to be non-permanent members in 2021.

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