With China watching, India, Vietnam to deepen economic embrace

In a clear signal that Vietnam is a special friend and strategic partner of New Delhi, India will be rolling out the red carpet for Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung Oct 27-28, a visit that comes just five weeks after President Pranab Mukherjee’s high-profile trip to Hanoi.
The core focus of the visit will be economic as strategic and defence ties were dealt with exhaustively during President Mukherjee’s trip. The two countries have already exceeded their trade target of $7 billion set for 2015 ahead of schedule, and will be looking to map out new opportunities emerging in the economic arena. This economic focus will be reflected in the 50-strong delegation comprising a veritable who’s who of Vietnam’s business word the Vietnamese prime minister will be bringing with him to India.
Although the focus of the forthcoming trip by Vietnam’s prime minister will be predominantly economic, the symbolic significance will not be lost on China, which has warily looked at the closer Delhi-Hanoi strategic and economic embrace with a distinct unease. China has repeatedly objected to Indian companies’ involvement in oil exploration in South China Sea, which it claims in entirety. But India has made it clear that its energy cooperation with Vietnam is strictly bilateral, and does not impact the interests of any third country.

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