India on Saturday signed 12 agreements with Vietnam after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met his counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc during his visit to the country. The memorandums of understanding are related to areas ranging from health to defence and space research, confirmed Foreign Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup.
The prime minister announced that India will offer a grant of US$5 million (Rs 33 crore approximately) for the establishment of a software park in the Telecommunications University in Nha Trang, besides providing $500 million (Rs 3,328 crore approximately) credit line for defence cooperation, reported ANI. Swarup took to Twitter, and said, "A renewed warmth with Vietnam. PM @narendramodi and PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc meet for a tete-a-tete before formal talks."
Modi said the two countries have decided to deepen defence and security engagements to advance common interests. The leaders have also agreed to upgrade the strategic partnership between the nations to a comprehensive strategic partnership.
After arriving in Hanoi on Friday, Modi was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the presidential palace. Later, he visited the Monument of National Heroes and Martyrs, the house where Vietnamese icon Ho Chi Minh lived and Quan Su Pagoda. The last Indian prime minister to visit Vietnam for bilateral talks was Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2001.