President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday lauded the Indian community in Vietnam for playing an important role in promoting bilateral ties and asked them to avail the new opportunities and possibilities to connect, collaborate and grow with India, which is on a transformative journey.
“I encourage you to join us in this journey, as knowledge partners, as investors and as cultural ambassadors,” President Kovind said at an Indian Community Reception here.
He said the Indian government has undertaken path-breaking economic reforms including the introduction of Goods and Services Tax that has realised the long-held dream of making India into ‘One Nation, One Tax, One Market’.
“Our policy measures have seen us jump 65 places in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business in the last four years,” Kovind said as he invited them to visit India to attend the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas in Varanasi scheduled for January 21-23.
He also hailed India-Vietnam friendship and said, “Our people have stood by each other during most difficult times. Our founding fathers - Mahatma Gandhi and President Ho Chi Minh have guided us on a shared path.”
The president praised the Buddhist Sangha for promoting friendship between the two countries, saying “through them we have nurtured our ties with compassion, kindness and blessings of Lord Buddha. The Buddhist monks were as active in promoting our relations in ancient times as they are today.”
Noting that monks and merchants brought Indian culture, philosophy and religion to the shores of Vietnam, he said as a friend and partner, India takes immense pride in Vietnam’s spectacular achievements.
“Today, Vietnam is a star among the emerging markets and is highly integrated with the global economy. Like India, it is a young demography, and like us, making every effort to meet the aspirations of its young people,” he said.
During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Vietnam in September 2016, the two sides had decided to elevate their bilateral ties to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, he said.
“Cooperation in defence industry, hydrocarbons, energy, agriculture, pharmaceuticals and healthcare were identified to enhance collaboration. Our intent has translated into concrete results. I am happy to learn that today, India is one of Vietnam’s top trading partners and we have seen a major jump in our bilateral trade and investment relations,” he added.
Kovind said India and Vietnam share similar opportunities and challenges and they “must come together with pride and purpose and help each other grow and prosper.”