Vietnam, Malaysia target US$15 billion in trade by 2020

Vietnam and Malaysia have agreed to enhance economic ties, aiming to raise bilateral trade to US$15 billion or higher by 2020.

Vietnam, Malaysia target US$15 billion in trade by 2020

Deputy PM Pham Binh Minh and Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah

The consensus was reached by Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah during their talks in Hanoi on May 16.

The two sides were resolved to work together in order to remove difficulties facing their businesses and create favourable conditions for them to cooperate, especially in such potential areas as urban development, renewable energy, electronic production, electricity, and agro-forestry-fishery.

Minh spoke highly of collaboration in national defence and security between the two countries over the years, particularly experience sharing and exchanges between army and security forces.

They concurred to push ahead with the establishment of mechanisms and the signing of new cooperation documents in national defence and security, as well as law enforcement.

The officials discussed measures to enhance partnerships in other spheres, such as education-training, employment, transport, information-communications, culture-tourism, maritime affairs, and fisheries.

Saifuddin affirmed that Malaysia attaches great importance to promoting affiliation with Vietnam across various industries, and that the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will partner with its Vietnamese counterpart to swiftly build an action programme on implementing the strategic partnership for the upcoming period; address obstacles to the bilateral cooperation; and create favourable conditions for Vietnamese citizens to live, study, and work in the country in line with law.

The officials rejoiced at the comprehensive and sustainable development of the bilateral friendship and cooperation in recent times.

They consented to increase all-level delegation exchanges via the channels of the Party, State, Government, and National Assembly, as well as people-to-people exchange.

The two sides will maintain and effectively implement bilateral cooperation mechanisms, especially the Joint Committee on Economic, Scientific, and Technical Cooperation chaired by the two foreign ministers.

Regarding regional and international issues of shared concern, they agreed to intensify consultations and coordination in matters relating to regional security and strategy.

Vietnam and Malaysia agreed to join hands with other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to strengthen the intra-bloc solidarity, successfully realise the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, and enhance the 10-member group's central role in the regional architecture.

They agreed to further their close cooperation and coordination at other multilateral forums, especially the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, and Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).

At the same time, they consented to promote regional economic connectivity through agreements to which both are members, like the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement.

Malaysia pledged to support Vietnam in successfully assuming the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020 and the country's bid to run for a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 term.

Meanwhile, Vietnam vowed to closely coordinate with and back Malaysia in hosting the APEC Year 2020.

The officials reiterated their consistent stance on the East Sea issue and the principle of peacefully settling conflicts in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

They also stressed the need to increase trust and the significance of non-militarisation and exercise of self-restraint in activities that may complicate the situation and escalate tensions in the East Sea.

The ministers reaffirmed their support for the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and will push ahead with negotiations to reach an effective and practical Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

During the talks, Minh expressed his hope that the Malaysian foreign minister's first ever visit to Vietnam will contribute significantly to consolidating and strengthening the strategic partnership between the two countries.

(Source: NDO)