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Wednesday, 8 November, 2000, 11:48 GMT
India offers Vietnam IT expertise
Programmer
Indian skills in IT are widely acknowledged
India's Foreign Minister, Jaswant Singh, has offered Vietnam his country's expertise in the fields of information technology, biotechnology and human resources.

Mr Singh is in Hanoi on a three-day visit to Vietnam after which he will visit the neighbouring country of Laos.

The Vietnamese Government, for its part, has expressed a keen desire to further expand bilateral trade and strengthen economic ties.

Jaswant Singh
Jaswant Singh: No threat to China
"The two sides need to boost trade promotion activities further and increase the exchange of business delegations and participation in trade exhibition fairs to explore markets and business co-operation," Foreign Minister Nguyen Dy Nien was quoted as saying by Vietnamese radio.

Mr Singh also paid courtesy calls on Prime Minister Phan Van Khai and Defence Minister Pham Van Tra.

Regional ties

Prime Minister Phan Van Khai thanked India for granting Vietnam preferential credits to help it build an IT development centre.

Hanoi has already said it strongly supports India's bid to gain a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.

India is building strong ties with the region and Foreign Minister Singh will launch a new regional forum - the Ganges-Mekong linkage - in Vientiane later this week.

The group includes Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam as well as India but excludes Delhi's regional rival, China.

But Jaswant Singh played down speculation that the exclusion was deliberate.

"This organisation is not directed at anybody or against anybody," he told journalists.

"It is a grouping of countries bound together by these two great rivers, by historical, cultural and other ties, and coming together to expand co-operation in culture, education, tourism, science technology and also development and infrastructure," he said.

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See also:

01 Nov 00 | South Asia
India's software exports rise
12 Jan 00 | Asia-Pacific
Vietnamese internet firm tests US waters
17 May 00 | South Asia
Germany woos Indian IT
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