New Delhi: External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar on Friday congratulated the government and people of Vietnam on their 77th National Day.

"On the 77th Anniversary of their National Day, extend warmest greetings to my colleague Vietnam Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son and the Government and people of Vietnam. Will keep working to advance our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with our key ASEAN and Indo-Pacific partner," tweeted Jaishankar.

India and Vietnam have a broad convergence of interest as emerging economies and important countries with respect to creating alternative supply chains in Asia after global disillusionment with the China-centric supply chain during the Covid pandemic.

Besides, the two countries are equally concerned about the aggressive and expansionist policies of China in the Indo-Pacific region. The two countries also share a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership since 2016 and defence cooperation is a key pillar of this partnership.

Bilateral defence engagements have expanded over a period of time to include wide-ranging contacts between the two countries, including Defence Policy Dialogue, military-to-military exchange, high-level visits, capacity building and training programs.

The two countries have also cooperated in UN peacekeeping, ship visits and bilateral exercises.

The Indian Defence Minister, during his visit, had a wide-ranging discussion with his Vietnamese counterpart, General Phan Van Giang, at Hanoi to jointly pursue effective and practical initiatives to further expand bilateral engagements.

The relations between the two countries were elevated to the level of "Strategic Partnership" in 2007 when Vietnam's then Prime Minister Nguyan Jan Dung visited India.

The relations were further upgraded to "Comprehensive Strategic Partnership" in 2016, as Vietnam serves as an important partner in India's "Act East" Policy and Indo-Pacific vision.

The two countries had signed a cultural agreement in 1976 and since then, it has led to the creation of many channels of cultural cooperation. A recent development in this regard is the establishment of the Swami Vivekananda Indian Cultural Centre in Hanoi in 2016.

Earlier, the Institute of Indian and South-West Asian Studies under the aegis of the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences was inaugurated in Hanoi in 2012.

Around 1,69,000 Indians visited Vietnam and 31,000 Vietnamese visited India before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Vietnam is the 15th largest trade partner of India and India is its 10th largest partner with bilateral trade standing at USD 11.12 billion in 2020-21. There is an upswing in India-Vietnam relations and it is rising up to new heights.