Vietnam Party chief finishes India visit

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General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong (L) and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on November 20. PHOTO COURTESY OF VIETNAM NEWS AGENCY

Vietnam's Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong finished his four-day state visit to India Friday.

After arriving in New Delhi on November 19, the Party chief met with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice President Shri Hamid Ansari, according to Vietnam News Agency reports.

He also met with other Indian senior officials.

Trong and his delegation also visited the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi, the preeminent Indian nationalist leader who led the country to independence from British colonial rule, inspiring civil rights movements across the world.

During the talks, the two sides agreed that Vietnam and India now have share similar targets in terms of socio-economic development and that the two countries should enhance their ties to boost their mutual growth and that of the greater Asia-Pacific region.

At the Indian Business Forum held on November 22 in Mumbai, Trong highlighted that trade and investment between Vietnam and India has grown significantly, with India scheduled to have 74 projects in Vietnam, with a total registered investment of over US$252.2 million, by June this year.

The two sides agreed to a target of $7 billion in bilateral trade by 2015, and $15 billion by 2020.

He also said that during his visit in India, he and Prime Minister Singh witnessed the signing of eight of important cooperation documents between the two countries.

Among them is the Memorial of Understanding of Indian power firm TATA with Vietnam's Ministry of Industry and Trade to build a $1.8 billion thermal power plant, to be named Long Phu 2, in Vietnam's Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang. The project represents India's biggest investment in Vietnam to date.

The Party leader of Vietnam, however, noted that the amount of economic exchange remains low in comparison to its potential and the countries' strong bilateral ties, and expressed his wish that this gap will be closed in the years to come.


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