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International Relations

Rajnath Singh with a Security Force official of Vietnam, during the handover ceremony at the Hong Ha Shipyard.PTI-

India on Thursday formally handed over the 12 high- speed guard boats constructed under the Union government’s $100-million defence Line of Credit (LoC) to Vietnam at a ceremony at the Hong Ha Shipyard during the visit of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to the Southeast Asian nation.

“I’m confident that this will be precursor to many more cooperative defence projects between India and Vietnam,” Mr. Singh said at the ceremony.

Stating that this project was an example of “Make in India-Make for the World” mission, Mr. Singh said, “We would be greatly pleased if close friends like Vietnam become part of our defence industries transformation through enhanced defence industry cooperation.”

The speed boats will be operated by the Vietnamese Border Guard Force. The deal was executed by Larsen & Tourbo and of the 12 boats, five were built in India and the remaining in Vietnam with assistance from L&T.

Hanoi has procured the 12 boats under the LoC extended in 2014. In 2016, India has extended another $500-million defence LoC to Vietnam and discussions are under way to identify the equipment. During bilateral talks, the two Defence Ministers had agreed for “early finalisation” of the second LoC.

Mr. Singh called on Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh. The visit comes on the occasion of 50 years of establishment of India-Vietnam diplomatic ties.

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