(This was originally posted in Times Of India by Rajat Pandit)
NEW DELHI: India on Tuesday offered all possible help by its defence and other shipyards to Vietnam in the construction and maintenance of warships, building up on its earlier assurance of further assisting the country in modernizing and training its armed forces.
In a webinar between the defence ministries of the two countries, joint secretary (defence industries production) Anurag Bajpai said the ongoing mission for ‘self-reliant India’ in the defence sector was not just inward-looking, but also about producing “cost-effective quality products and catering to the whole world especially friendly nations”.
“Indian shipbuilding has come of age and gained tremendous expertise. Indian shipyards are willing to work with Vietnamese shipyards for construction, repair and maintenance of platforms,” he said.
The webinar on “India-Vietnam defense cooperation” was attended by senior officials from the two countries, including the Indian Ambassador to Hanoi Pranay Verma and the Vietnamese chief of the general department of defense industries Lt Gen Tran Hong Minh, as well as many Indian defence companies. In the backdrop of defense cooperation being a vital component of the “comprehensive strategic partnership” between the two countries, which are wary of China’s aggressive behavior in the Asia-Pacific region, India has also earlier offered the BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles as well as the Akash surface-to-air missile defence systems to Vietnam, as was reported by TOI.