Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is scheduled to visit Vietnam from June 8 to 10 during which he will preside over the handing over ceremony of 12 High Speed Guard Boats constructed under the Government of India’s $100 million defence Line of Credit (LoC).
He will hold bilateral talks with General Phan Van Giang, during which both the Ministers will review defence cooperation between the two countries and explore new initiatives to further strengthen the defence engagements, a Defence Ministry said in a statement. “The two Ministers will also exchange views on regional and global issues of shared interest.”
Mr. Singh is visiting at the invitation of his Vietnamese counterpart Gen. Phan and will start his visit by paying respects to Late President Ho Chi Minh at his Mausoleum in Hanoi. He is also scheduled to call on Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.
He will also visit the training institutions of Vietnam at Nha Trang, including the Telecommunication University where an Army Software Park is being established with a $5 million grant from India.
Hanoi is procuring 12 high speed patrol boats for the Vietnamese border guard force under the LoC extended in September 2014. In 2016, India extended another $500 million defence LoC to Vietnam and discussions are under way to identify the equipment.
The Defence Minister’s visit on the historic occasion of 50 years of establishment of India-Vietnam diplomatic relations and 75 years of India’s Independence will further consolidate the bilateral defence cooperation and the comprehensive strategic partnership, the Ministry added.
In a separate development, Vietnam’s airline Vietjet has inaugurated direct flights connecting Mumbai with Vietnam’s capital Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s largest city.
The services launched between Ho Chi Minh City/Hanoi and Mumbai operate four and thrice weekly flights respectively and the frequency may be increased in coming time to meet customer’s demand, the Airlines said in a statement on Saturday.
Vietjet already operates direct routes between New Delhi and Ho Chi Minh City/Hanoi with thrice weekly flights on each route. “From September 9, 2022, the Mumbai-Phu Quoc route will commence operation with four round trips per week while the New Delhi–Phu Quoc will operate with a frequency of three round trips per week,” the statement added.