|Vietnamese Ambassador to Indonesia Pham Vinh Quang
This year is viewed as a meaningful period for the two sides as both nations celebrate the 75th anniversary of their National Day, along with 65 years of diplomatic relations. Simultaneously, the country is serving as ASEAN Chair during a year in which both nations are non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.
Providing an assessment of the regional position and influence of both sides in the recent past, especially this year due to Vietnam taking on the role of ASEAN Chair and Indonesia being viewed as a major country in the region, the Vietnamese diplomat said both sides are the only countries in Southeast Asia to have gained independence in 1945.
They also share plenty of cultural similarities and historical traditions involving struggling for national independence which has helped to create a spirit of self-reliance. Indeed, the two countries have maintained a traditional relationship that was initiated by two famous leaders, President Ho Chi Minh and President Sukarno, therefore creating a firm foundation for future relationships.
Indonesia is a significant country with a population of roughly 270 million people, making it the fourth largest in the world. As Southeast Asia's largest economy, it is also a member of the G20 group and is likely to become the fifth largest economy in the world by 2045.
|A VOV corespondent in Indonesian interviews Vietnamese Ambassador Pham Vinh Quang
In comparison, Vietnam boasts a population of approximately 100 million people and has the highest economic growth rate throughout the Asia-Pacific region. It is also a member of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, the largest free trade area globally.
The current year marks a remarkable time, with the two countries celebrating the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations since they were first launched in 1955, whilst at the same time it offers them a wealth of opportunities to promote further co-operation. This is as a result of both sides serving as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council and Vietnam becoming the Chairman of ASEAN.
With Indonesia striving to take the lead in promoting the ASEAN Vision on the Indo-Pacific, this is something that the country shares and has therefore offered its support.
At present, both sides desire a stable peace in the Asia-Pacific region and around the world, and will have plenty of chances to contribute to world peace and security as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council, Ambassador Quang said.
With regard to the co-operative relationship between the two nations, the Vietnamese diplomat believes that both sides have been able to maintain time-honoured friendly relationships, whilst becoming special strategic partners. Both nations have enjoyed extensive relations across multiple fields, such as politics, diplomacy, defence-security, economics, culture, tourism, and people-to-people exchanges.
Furthermore, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has exerted a certain impact on the co-operation between the two countries as a result of the profound impact it has had on the socio-economic development of many countries across the globe. It is therefore clear that it is impossible for a single nation to handle the pandemic independently without close co-ordination and joint efforts with many other countries.
Recent years have seen both sides closely co-operate in order to carry out the dual goal of containing the pandemic and maintaining stable socio-economic development.
In relation to the multilateral framework, Vietnam in its role as Chair of ASEAN has been active in co-ordinating with Indonesia in order to organise the Special ASEAN Summit. This is along with the Summit between ASEAN and Northeast Asian partner countries, special meetings of ministers, and other related meetings to compare notes on measures to take against the COVID-19.
In addition, similar statements were issued to demonstrate the joint determination to stand side by side with the world in responding to the pandemic. At the United Nations and the UN Security Council, the two countries also jointly accelerated the adoption of relevant resolutions regarding anti-COVID-19 co-operation.
The legislative bodies of the two countries have also augmented co-operation in this process.
The House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia has been co-operating with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in an effort to organise online conferences on COVID-19 response alongside the law-making bodies of Vietnam, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore, alongside UN ESCAP, and WHO representatives, the Vietnamese official said.