He recalled his visit to Vietnam in September 2016 and said India’s firms were impressed with the investment environment in the Southeast Asian country. He described the long-standing friendship between Vietnam and India as a treasure for future generations to nurture and develop to a new height. Regarding the East Sea issue, the PM confirmed that India advocates the settlement of disputes via peaceful means in accordance with international law. For her part, NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan expressed her pleasure at the remarkable strides in bilateral relations over the past 45 years, especially when the two countries lifted their strategic partnership to the level of a comprehensive strategic partnership during the Indian PM’s visit to Vietnam in September 2016. That move has created an important new framework for deeper cooperation in various fields, she said, adding that the two countries will celebrate the 45th anniversary of their diplomatic ties and the tenth anniversary of their strategic partnership in 2017. She urged the two sides to accelerate measures to create a breakthrough in two-way trade, which is expected to hit US$15 billion by 2020. Ngan told the host that Vietnam supports Indian oil and gas companies investing in the new oil field discovered within Vietnam’s continental shelf, and encourages them to do so. She proposed that Indian partners study opportunities for cooperation with the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) while enabling Vietnamese businesses to participate in potential projects in India and third countries.