Minister of State for Tourism K. Chiranjeevi has said that India as a part of its the look east policy is sparing no effort to add more content to its ''strategic partnership'' with Vietnam, in the fields of defence, economic, scientific-educational and cultural cooperation.
“Our trade reached USD 3.9 billion in 2011, and is on track to meet the target of USD 7 billion in 2015. Indian investments in Vietnam now exceed US$ 800 million. Sea, surface and air connectivity with ASEAN in all its dimensions - physical, institutional and people-to-people - is a key priority for India, which is why we decided to have ministerial-level participation from India for both the Car Rally and Sudarshini visits," said Chiranjeevi, while prioritising the Indo-ASEAN trade.
Chiranjeevi, who was addressing a luncheon reception hosted by Indian Business Chamber in Vietnam (INCHAM) in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, also mentioned that sea, surface and air connectivity with ASEAN in all its dimensions - physical, institutional and people-to-people - is a key priority for India, which is the reason to decided to have ministerial-level participation from India for both the Car Rally and Sudarshini visits.
He further said ''the India-Myanmar-Thailand highway, once completed in 2016, will directly link India''s North Eastern region to these two countries and the larger ASEAN region beyond, including Vietnam and Cambodia''.
Regarding tourists'' arrival from Vietnam to India, Chiranjeevi said: "The number of travellers between India and Vietnam exceed 40000 a year, growing by about 15-20 percent annually. The Vietnamese are particularly attracted towards our Buddhist circuit, and more and more Indians are travelling to Vietnam to visit their Cham heritage sites and beautiful beaches."
"I do hope that as numbers increase, direct flights between India and Vietnam would become commercially viable and open soon," he added.