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Third Maritime Security Dialogue between India and Vietnam

The third India-Vietnam Maritime Security Dialogue was conducted in New Delhi on May 31st, 2023. Ms. Muanpuii Saiawi, Joint Secretary (Disarmament and International Security Affairs), Ministry of External Affairs, headed the Indian delegation, and Ambassador Trinh Duc Hai, Vice Chairman, National Boundary Commission, led the Vietnamese delegation. 

During the discussion, the two parties discussed how to maintain a secure marine environment favorable to equitable growth and global well-being, taking into account the region’s rising Chinese escalation. They discussed existing maritime cooperation projects as well as prospects for strengthening international and regional platforms for comprehensive maritime security.

Arindam Bagchi, the official spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, tweeted on Wednesday that the 3rd India-Vietnam Maritime Security Dialogue was held on May 31st in New Delhi. The dialogue was attended by senior delegates from several ministries and services associated with maritime concerns.

Both parties pledged to strengthen their collaborative efforts and existing frameworks across fields such as marine scientific research, maritime connectivity, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR),  and maritime security, which includes Navy and Coast Guard collaboration, maritime regulation, and capacity building.

The next session of the dialogue will be held in Vietnam on a mutually agreeable date.

Following the first round in Hanoi in March 2019, the second India-Vietnam Maritime Security Dialogue was held virtually in April 2021.

The MEA said in a statement that the interactions included discussions about exchanges on maritime security development, regional cooperation initiatives, and the potential for collaboration between the two nations.

India and Vietnam have long had strong and cordial relations. India has oil exploration projects in the South China Sea in the Vietnamese Waters. In recent years, India and Vietnam have increased their marine security cooperation to preserve mutual interests. Vietnam has emerged as a critical ally in the Act East policy of India and the Indo-Pacific vision.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently met with his Vietnamese counterpart, Pham Minh Chinh, at the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, Japan, and held a bilateral meeting. Both leaders discussed different areas of their countries’ partnership, including defence. As the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted, they discussed several sectors of India-Vietnam friendship, including energy, trade, technology, and defence. 

The two countries are located in the Indo-Pacific area, which is experiencing growing geopolitical competition, according to maritime experts. As a result, maritime cooperation contributes to the region’s stability and security while ensuring freedom of navigation and supporting rules-based order.