23 Sep 2018 17:11 IST

ISB hosts Ambassador of Vietnam to India at Mohali

HE Dr Ton Sinh Thanh said that there cannot be a more reliable partner to India than Vietnam

Indian Business School hosted HE Dr Ton Sinh Thanh, Ambassador of Socialist Republic of Vietnam to India, at its Mohali campus. The ambassador spoke on ‘Can Vietnam be India’s key strategic ASEAN partner?’ The event was organised in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry.

Ambassador Ton started his address by quoting former Vietnamese Prime Minister, Pham Van Dong, who said in 1978 that the “Indo-Vietnam relationship is like a clear sky with no clouds”, making a reference to the problem-free nature of the relationship between the two countries. The Ambassador elaborated on Vietnam’s historical context, which was war-ridden for a long time, even after its independence in 1945. It opened up only after 1985 and grew at a fast pace as an export-driven economy. He emphasised that India and Vietnam are historically connected and enjoy a healthy relationship.

Ton made reference to the spread of Buddhism and the establishment of a Hindu kingdom in Central Vietnam by the Kalinga rulers. The strong and stable political leadership in both countries has led to high-level mutual trust among its leaders, leading to intense defence cooperation, along with strong collaboration in areas such as IT and energy.

Indo-Vietnam relationship thrives on five strategic pillars — politics, economics, tourism, culture, and education. He also appreciated that India’s investment in Vietnam is increasing over a period. While vehemently supporting that Vietnam can be India’s key strategic partner in ASEAN, Ambassador Ton expressed the desire to see business houses in India take greater initiative in investing in Vietnam. He felt the need for greater air connectivity between the two countries and more avenues for people to connect. He concluded by saying that if India is focused on a plan to ‘Act East’, there cannot be a more reliable partner and trusted friend than Vietnam.