Fresh impetus for Vietnam-Indonesia relations

(VOV) - State President Truong Tan Sang has said his visit to Indonesia, starting on June 27, will help deepen the ties of comprehensive cooperation between the two countries.

In interviews granted to The Jakarta Post and Antara News of Indonesia, President Sang said that he and President Susilo Bambang Yuhoyono will announce the establishment of the Vietnam-Indonesia strategic partnership during the two-day visit.

fresh impetus for vietnam-indonesia relations hinh 0

According to President Sang, bilateral relations have developed strongly over the years, especially after both countries signed a joint statement on a framework of friendship and comprehensive cooperation in the 21st century in June 2003.

They have signed more than 30 cooperation agreements in key areas such as politics, national defence, security, economics, trade, investment, education and agriculture, laying a legal firm foundation for comprehensive cooperation in the future.

President Sang said Vietnam and Indonesia are developing a new action plan to further strengthen political and economic ties, aiming to surpass the US$5 billion two-way trade target ahead of the 2015 schedule and look to the US$8 billion mark by 2018.

The new plan also aims to expand bilateral cooperation in other potential areas such as education-training, fishing, oil and gas, culture, sports, tourism and people-to-people exchanges.

He hailed Indonesia’s increasing role in Southeast Asia, Asia and the Pacific, and the world at large.

As a key ASEAN member, he said Indonesia has introduced numerous strategic initiatives for cooperation within the grouping and between ASEAN and its dialogue partners, including the 2003 Declaration of ASEAN Concord II (Bali Concord II), and the 2011 Bali Declaration on the ASEAN Community in a Global Community of Nations (Bali Concord III).

As ASEAN President in 2011, Indonesia took the lead in setting out orientations for the grouping to coordinate plans of action in addressing global issues, consolidating internal solidarity and resolving differences between member countries.

President Sang suggested Vietnam and Indonesia work closely to realise ASEAN’s key agreements, especially the ASEAN Community Blueprint, the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI), and the Hanoi Declaration on Narrowing the Development Gap.

Priority will also be given to consolidating the grouping’s solidarity, expanding cooperation between ASEAN and its dialogue partners, and raising public awareness of building a people-centred ASEAN community.

He said Vietnam and Indonesia will reaffirm their determination to raise ASEAN’s common voice in settling disputes, especially those relating to marine sovereignty, through peaceful means in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Such a common voice will help strengthen ASEAN’s power in negotiations with its partners, contributing to reinforcing the grouping’s central role in the regional evolving security structure.

He affirmed that as a sovereign nation in Southeast Asia, Vietnam wants to settle the East Sea issue peacefully through negotiations and dialogues in line with international law, including UNCLOS and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties (DOC) in the East Sea towards the Code of Conduct (COC) in the area.

Vietnam attaches importance to maintaining peace and marine security in the East Sea, contributing to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region, as well as to consolidating solidarity and ASEAN’s central role in addressing regional security issues, said President Sang.

He spoke highly of Indonesia’s role in conducting regional peaceful dialogues, resulting in the July 2012 six-point principle on the East Sea, so as to promote ASEAN’s solidarity and contributions to peace and stability in the East Sea.

Vietnam hopes Indonesia will continue performing its proactive role in maintaining peace, stability and development in the East Sea, and Vietnam will work closely with Indonesia at both bilateral and multilateral forums, in the interest of ASEAN and the whole region, said President Sang.  

In the interviews, the Vietnamese President also appreciated Indonesia’s role as the incumbent President of the 2013 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC 2013) in introducing initiatives on regional economic and education connectivity.