India offers Vietnam assistance in petroleum, trade, IT

By SiliconIndia   |   Tuesday, 19 October 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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HANOI: India on Monday offered its assistance to Vietnam in developing its petroleum, trade, information and technology and atomic energy sectors, as the two countries for the first time adopted an action plan for 2004-2006 envisaging cooperation in various fields.

External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Dy Nien signed a joint commission agreement covering a gamut of arenas for co-operation.

Singh told the joint commission meeting early on Monday that New Delhi wanted to set up a Vietnam-India Foundation for diversifying bilateral ties between the two nations whose friendship dates back more than 50 years.

The two sides discussed cooperation in areas like trade, investment, industry, energy, transport, credit, agriculture, science and technology, IT, telecom, civil aviation, tourism, HRD, culture and health.

The two countries also agreed to cooperate on the peaceful uses of atomic energy. They also decided to hold vice ministers-level meeting as a part of defense cooperation.

"The inherent trust and faith that characterise our bilateral relations also provide a sound foundation for the ongoing and future defense cooperation. There is significant commonality of equipment between our armed forces and we feel that there is a vast scope to expand this cooperation," Singh said, adding that the Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee would visit Vietnam in the near future.

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