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23 Jan 2019, 21:43 HRS IST
  • PTI
Arun Jaitley undergoes surgery, advised a two-week rest, say sources.
  • Sitharaman inaugurates office of BEL in Vietnam

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22:16 HRS IST

New Delhi, Jun 13 (PTI) Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday inaugurated the first office of leading defence PSU Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) in Hanoi, reflecting India's deepening military cooperation with strategically- important Vietnam.

On the second day of her visit there, Sitharaman also held extensive talks with her Vietnamese counterpart General Ngo Xuan Lich in Hanoi during which both sides explored ways to further deepen military cooperation

Sitharaman also called on President of Vietnam Tran Dai Quang and exchanged views on regional security situation as well as strengthening bilateral defence ties, officials said here

At an event later, the defence minister handed over the symbolic key of the representative office of BEL to Chairman and Managing Director of the public sector undertaking Gowtama MV during a Vietnam-India defence industry business meeting

BEL is India's leading defence electronics company which is fast expanding its global presence, especially in South East Asian countries such as Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines

"We look forward to expand our footprint in defence production. This is the best time for us to come here with the technologies we have," Sitharaman said in a keynote address at fourth Vietnam-India defence industry meeting

She said it was important that the spirit of cooperation between India and Vietnam extends to private sector

"I invite Indian private sector participants to come and engage here seriously," she said

The defence minister tweeted that she talked about India's defence export potential and scope of India-Vietnam cooperation in fields of defence production and innovation

Vietnam had expressed interest in acquiring Brahmos missiles from India and both sides have been engaged in talks over it

Defence cooperation between India and Vietnam has been on an upswing, particularly in maritime sphere

Sitharaman arrived in Hanoi from Cambodia yesterday on the second leg of her trip to the region.

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