|Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) and his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen at the third Mekong River Commission Summit in Siem Reap, Cambodia, on April 4, 2018 (Photo: VNA)
It will be the second trip to Vietnam by PM Hun Sen within one year since Cambodia set up its sixth-tenure government in September 2018.
With the diplomatic relationship founded on June 24, 1967, the two neighbouring countries boast a long-standing solidarity and friendship which have been nurtured by generations of their leaders and peoples.
Fruitful cooperation in multiple spheres
Many strides have been recorded in bilateral cooperation in recent years.
Delegation exchanges have been maintained at all levels to further enhance mutual trust between the countries’ leaders and peoples.
Since the sixth general election and the formation of the new government in Cambodia, many high-raking visits have been exchanged. They include the trips to Cambodia by Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong (February 25 – 26, 2019) and National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (January 2019). Meanwhile, Vietnam also welcomed Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni (December 19 – 21, 2018), PM Hun Sen (December 6 – 8, 2018), and National Assembly Chairman Heng Samrin (May 28 – 30, 2019).
The two PMs have also frequently met each other at multilateral forums.
Under security – defence cooperation plans, Vietnam and Cambodia have held annual defence policy dialogues; regularly exchanged high-ranking defence delegations between their military regions, services and units; and coordinated well in the search for and repatriation of remains of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers in Cambodia. They have also organised border friendship exchanges and joint patrols at sea.
Besides, security cooperation has been enhanced with stronger ties in fighting crimes and keeping stability, security and order in border areas.
The two countries have also worked closely together at international and regional forums, including the Cambodia – Laos – Vietnam (CLV) Development Triangle, the Cambodia – Laos – Myanmar – Vietnam (CLMV) cooperation, the Ayeyawady – Chao Phraya – Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Asia – Europe Meeting (ASEM), and the United Nations, thus helping to improve each country’s prestige and stature in the region and the world.
Over the past years, bilateral trade has been on the rise, surpassing 4.7 billion USD in 2018 (up 24 percent year on year) and 3 billion USD in the first eight months of 2019.
Vietnam is among the five largest foreign investors in Cambodia with more than 200 projects worth over 3 billion USD, mainly in rubber plantation, telecom, finance, banking and energy.
The two sides inked a double taxation avoidance agreement, another on promoting bilateral economic and trade ties for 2019-2020, a strategy for transport cooperation with a vision to 2030, and a deal revising the road and waterway transport agreements.
Additionally, Vietnam has provided hundreds of scholarships in different fields for Cambodia each year. The two sides have also worked together to create conditions for Cambodian people to receive health examination and treatment in Vietnam with medical fees similar to locals’.
About 800,000 Vietnamese people visited Cambodia in 2017, and this figure reached 835,000 in 2018, making Vietnam the second biggest source of foreign tourists of the country.
Building peaceful border of long-lasting stability
Vietnam and Cambodia share about 1,245km of land border. For the last nearly 50 years, they have organised many rounds of talks and signed a number of legal documents to recognise the achievements in the settlement of border issues, thereby helping to build a peaceful border of long-lasting stability, strengthen solidarity and friendship, and facilitate border residents’ lives.
By December 2018, they had built 315 of the 371 main border markers. As of September 2019, they had completed field border demarcation and compiled records on 1,045km of borderline.
So far, about 84 percent of the border demarcation and border marker planting workload has been completed.
The official visit by PM Hun Sen takes place amidst the countries’ flourishing relations. It will help reiterate Vietnam’s foreign policy of independence, self-reliance and diversification and multilateralisation of foreign relations, with high priority given to the sound neighbourliness, traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation with Cambodia. The trip is also set to help reinforce connections in economy, trade, investment and border issues.