President’s visit to Cambodia helps boost bilateral cooperation: Cambodian expert

Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s official visit to Cambodia on December 21 – 22 demonstrated the good relationship between the two countries and further stepped up bilateral cooperation.

According to Uch Leang, Acting Director of the Department of Asian, African and Middle East Studies of the International Relations Institute of Cambodia, during this visit, the two countries' leaders agreed on major guidelines and measures to further deepen bilateral cooperation in an effective and substantive manner, especially in such key areas as defence, security, border cooperation, trade, investment, transport, education, culture, health, people-to-people exchange, and cooperation between localities.

The two sides agreed that through a series of events within the framework of the "Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Year", they will strengthen coordination in popularising and educating people of all walks of life about the significance and importance of preserving and cultivating the good neighbourliness, for prosperity of both countries, and peace, cooperation and development in the region.

Regarding multilateral cooperation, the two sides agreed to continue to closely coordinate at international, regional and sub-regional forums, especially within ASEAN, Uch Leang said.  

The two countries concretised their commitments and affirmed mutual trust during President Phuc’s visit by signing seven cooperation documents to promote and expand collaboration in various fields such as security, industry and trade, justice, education, border cooperation, and the minutes of the 19th meeting of the Vietnam-Cambodia Joint Committee on economic, science and technology cooperation.

The expert also pointed out sustainable areas and orientations that can create new impetus for bilateral economic cooperation in the "new normal".

In recent times, investment projects in the agricultural sector such as Vietnam's planting fruit trees or rubber trees have proven effective, creating thousands of jobs despite the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

He underlined the need for the two sides to focus on infrastructure development to promote the connection between the two economies, including the completion of the Master Plan on Vietnam – Cambodia Economic Connectivity 2030”, the implementation of the Bavet - Moc Bai expressway project connecting Ho Chi Minh City of Vietnam with Phnom Penh of Cambodia, as well as key areas and cooperation projects such as Vietnam’s investment projects in Cambodia in agriculture, industrial crops, telecommunications, and banking, the early signing of a border trade agreement to create favourable conditions for the two sides' goods to access each other's market, and the improvement of the quality and efficiency of education - training cooperation.

He spoke highly of Vietnam’s “vaccine passport” scheme, adding that the resumption of direct flights between the two countries in a safe and timely manner will contribute to sustainable socio-economic development of each country after the pandemic.