The agreements were signed during the second day of the four-day state visit of President Pranab Mukherjee who held talks with his Vietnamese counterpart Truong Tan Sang here.

Both the countries decided to ‘strengthen and deepen bilateral cooperation on the basis of the strategic partnership with focus on political, defence and security cooperation, economic cooperation, science and technology, culture and people-to-people links, technical cooperation and multilateral  and regional cooperation.’

In a subtle message to China, the two countries, who established strategic ties in 2007, asserted that the freedom of navigation in the disputed waters of the South China Sea should not be ‘impeded’ and called all the parties ‘concerned’ to exercise restraint in this context.

"The leaders reiterated their desire and determination to work together to maintain peace, stability, growth and prosperity in Asia. They agreed that freedom of navigation in the East Sea/South China Sea should not be impeded and called the parties concerned to exercise restraint, avoid threat or use of force and resolve disputes through peaceful means in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law, including the UNCLOS-1982," said a joint communique issued after the meeting.

China has been exerting its influence in these waters which is not taken well by Vietnam and other bordering countries like the Philippines.

The two sides urged for "collective commitment of the concerned parties to abide by and implement the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and to work towards the adoption of a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea on the basis of consensus.

"They called for cooperation in ensuring security of sea-lanes, maritime security, combating piracy and conducting search and rescue operations," it said.

"Both the nations also agreed to continue closer interaction under the institutional architecture of the strategic partnership, particularly the Joint Commission meeting, the Foreign Office consultations and strategic dialogue, security dialogue and other dialogue mechanisms between the two countries," the communique said.

"They welcomed the strong growth in bilateral trade in recent years and urged business to further expand and diversify trade to achieve the bilateral trade target of USD 15 billion by 2020. They identified tourism, garments and textiles, pharmaceuticals and agriculture as important areas of potential growth in bilateral trade," the statement said.

The two leaders highlighted scope for expansion in ICT, science and technology, space and other areas.

The MoU on line of credit of the Exim bank signed on Monday will explore opportunities for this cooperation in the future.

"Details of equipment to be purchased by Vietnam are under finalisation," the joint statement said.

Also, under the new air connectivity deal, both Jet Airways and Vietnam Airlines will fly a daily flight connecting Delhi, Mumbai and Ho Chi Minh city starting on November 5.

Before meeting his Vietnamese counterpart, Mukherjee visited the Ho Chi Minh's residential complex here and laid wreath at the memorial of National Heroes and Martyrs.

Upon his arrival to the Presidential palace, Mukherjee was given a guard of honour.

He and Sang jointly planted a sapling of the Holy 'Bodhi Tree' which was gifted to Vietnam as a mark of respect and recognition of India's strong-rooted and growing ties with it.

The Indian delegation comprises Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and five other Parliamentarians.

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