Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Nov 25 : Visiting Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil has said that the foundation of the friendship between India and Vietnam remains as solid as ever, amidst the changing world around.
Patil was speaking at the dinner hosted in her honour by Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Le Hoang Quan on Monday
She said our bilateral relations continued to be nurtured and developed through high level exchanges.
The President said India admire the rapid economic progress made by Vietnam and added that this province of Ho Chi Minh City has attracted many Indian investors.
She said an Indian business delegation is accompanying her on the trip and will be interacting with their business counterparts. She hoped that this would results in fruitful and productive outcomes.
President Patil said, "We can also consider linking Mumbai and Ho Chi Minh City as sister cities. After all, both cities drive the economic engines in our fast growing nations."
She also hoped for future cooperation from Vietnam.
Patil said that there is immense possibility of further strengthening cooperation in diverse areas so that the strategic partnership between India and Vietnam continues to acquire ever greater strength.
The President's visit to these countries is being seen as part of an effort to give a fresh impetus to India''s "Look East" policy.
During her visit to Vietnam, Patil will have discussions with President Triet and other leaders of Vietnam on ways to further strengthen our political and economic links which is a pivotal part of India-Vietnamese strategic partnership.
The President hopes that as a part of India's 'Look East Policy', India''s endeavour will be to forge close relations with ASEAN countries, of which Vietnam and Indonesia are important members.
Earlier talking to the media onboard Air India One, President Patil said that Vietnam and Indonesia, as well as India, have been developing at an impressive rate in the past decade, according to their respective economic policies.
This, she said, has enabled higher interaction not only in the traditional areas of cooperation like trade and investment, but also in specific areas like capacity building, entrepreneurship development, science and technology among others.
After Vietnam, Patil will visit Indonesia, where the emphasis will be on strengthening and diversifying the bilateral strategic partnership in discussions with President Yudhoyono.
She said her visit to Indonesia, a friendly country with which we have had people to people exchanges for more than two millennia, have a historical character of their own, as seen through the strands of our shared cultural traditions.
A business delegation is also accompanying the President on this visit to explore avenues for intensifying India's economic ties with both Vietnam and Indonesia. By Ravinder Singh Robin