Hanoi, Jan 16 (ANI): With a focus on strengthening bilateral trade and cooperation, Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari met and interacted with the top Vietnamese leadership in the course of his visit to the South East Asian country.
Ansari met Vietnam's President Truon Tan Sang, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan in Hanoi on Tuesday (January 15).
Ansari, who is on a four day-long state visit to Vietnam, paid homage at the country's war memorial and also paid tribute to the Vietnamese national leader Ho Chi Minh at his memorial in the national capital.
The visit is part of the events that are taking place to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries and the fifth anniversary of their strategic partnership.
The visit came just a week after the visit of Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh to the Indian national capital New Delhi.
India and Vietnam signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in the field of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
In his speech at the closing ceremony of the India-Vietnam Friendship Year, Ansari stressed on vital aspects of bilateral cooperation.
"India has been a long-standing partner in Vietnam's development process. Our cooperation in diverse areas such as agriculture, science and technology, education, capacity building and human resource development is growing. We enjoy robust cooperation in the areas of defence and security," he said.
New Delhi and Hanoi hope to increase and diversify their trade from its current four billion dollars to seven billion by 2015, and to promote mutual investment and cooperation in various fields.
In Vietnam, more than 70 projects are being carried out which are worth $ 800 million, with Indian help, mainly in agriculture and information technology.
India and Vietnam came closer after the latter criticised the Chinese intervention in the South China Sea, an area where India and China had some issues a few months back.
While India maintains that it is merely involved in oil exploration activities in the area in question, China feels India is developing a strategic presence in the area. (ANI)