India offers $500 million worth credit line to Vietnam for defence cooperation

Kalyani Pandey
India and Vietnam earlier signed 12 agreements.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is currently in Vietnam, held a bilateral meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc. India announced a credit line of half a billion dollars ($50 million) in order to deepen cooperation.

Narendra Modi, who is the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the country in over a decade and a half, signed 12 agreements with Vietnam. This signals the increased strategic partnership between the two Asian countries, the ministry said in a statement.

"PM Narendra Modi announces a new line of credit of USD 500 million for Vietnam to facilitate deeper defence cooperation."

— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) September 3, 2016

According to a report in Channel News Asia, the credit line is seen as a boost to Vietnam's military buildup in a bid to take on its neighbour China's claims in the South China Sea.

In recent years, India and Vietnam have increased their defence ties. India is training Viatnamese Navy officials in operating the Russian-origin Kilo-Class submarine. 

Here is the text of Modi's speech for deepening defence cooperation:

We realize that our efforts to bring economic prosperity to our people need to be accompanied by steps to secure them. Prime Minister and I have, therefore, agreed to deepen our defence and security engagement to advance our common interests.

The agreement on construction of offshore patrol boats signed earlier today is one of the steps to give concrete shape to our defence engagement. I am also happy to announce a new Defence Line of Credit for Vietnam of US$ Five Hundred million for facilitating deeper defence cooperation. The range of agreements signed just a while ago point to the diversity and depth of our cooperation.