Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung began his two-day visit to India on Monday, the third high-level exchange between the two countries in two months.
Dung arrived in Bodh Gaya, a well-known religious site and place of pilgrimage in eastern Indian state of Bihar, accompanied by a 50-member business delegation.
He was welcomed by the state’s Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjihi, who pushed for stronger cooperation with Vietnam on various fields, according to Vietnam News Agency.
Later Monday, Dung touched down at New Delhi, where he will hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
During Dung’s visit, the two countries are expected to sign a number of agreements, including one on sister city ties between Ho Chi Minh City and Mumbai, and another one on Bank of India set to open its first branch in Ho Chi Minh City, according to the Indian website The Economic Times.
His visit comes just a month after that of President Pranab Mukherjee to Vietnam, during which India agreed to tighten energy ties and extended a US$100 million export credit to Vietnam for defence deals.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (L) is welcomed by Chief Minister of the eastern Indian state of Bihar, Jitan Ram Manjihi.
According to The Economic Times, during Dung's visit the sale of Brahmos supersonic cruise missiles, which are co-developed with Russia, to Vietnam are likely to be discussed.
Vietnam and India have also agreed to open direct flights between the two countries this November. Jet Airways plans to start flights on Nov 5 between Mumbai, Delhi and Ho Chi Minh City, while Vietnam Airlines will start flights between Hanoi and New Delhi in 2015 under a code share agreement with Jet Airways.
Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, during her visit to Hanoi late August, said India wants to turn its long-standing “Look East” policy into “Acting East” policy.
During 2013-14, trade between the two countries stood at $8 billion, registering a growth of over 30 percent over the previous year. Vietnam and India have targeted to increase bilateral trade to $10 billion by 2015 and $15 billion by 2020.