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India offers naval shipbuilding support to Vietnam

India has offered Vietnam support in developing capability to build and support naval vessels. The offer was communicated in a webinar held on 20 April between senior defence officials from the two sides, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in New Delhi stated.

The MoD quoted Anurag Bajpai, India’s joint secretary of defence production, as saying that India’s efforts to achieve higher levels of self-reliance in defence manufacturing is “not just inward looking but is also about producing cost-effective products … for friendly nations”.

He added, “Indian shipyards are willing to work with Vietnamese shipyards [in the] construction, repair, and maintenance of platforms.”

According to the MoD, the online event included representatives from 37 Indian defence companies, looking to expand collaborative ties with partners from Vietnam. The MoD said the webinar was organised as part of a series of similar events to boost Indian defence exports and achieve a target of USD5 billion in international sales by 2025.

In fiscal year 2019–20 India’s defence exports reached a value of INR91.15 billion (USD1.2 billion), a 9.5% increase over the INR83.20 billion achieved a year earlier.

India is aiming to support expanded co-operation with Vietnam in naval shipbuilding through a new framework agreement proposed in late 2020. Following talks about this proposed accord in November 2020, the Indian MoD said it will support India’s efforts to “positively contribute to the capacity building” of allied countries.

These efforts are also linked with India’s expanding defence exports to the Southeast Asian nation, much of which is supported through New Delhi’s provision of state credit.

To date, India has provided funds worth USD600 million to Vietnam. The funding is for the procurement of Indian-made defence equipment as well as related technologies to strengthen Vietnam’s defence industry.

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