Vietnam, Malaysia aim for US$15 billion in bilateral trade by 2020

VOV.VN -Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah have agreed that both nations need to further promote economic ties towards elevating bilateral trade to US$15 billion or beyond by 2020.

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Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (R) and Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah

During their talks in Hanoi on May 16, the two diplomats showed their determination to work hand in hand to iron out snags for their businesses and offer optimal conditions for them to cooperate, especially in such potential areas as urban development, renewable energy, electronic production, electricity, and agro-forestry-fishery. 

They consented to accelerate the establishment of mechanisms and the signing of new cooperation documents in national defence and security, as well as law enforcement. 

Both sides discussed a host of measures to foster partnerships in other fields, such as education-training, employment, transport, information-communications, culture-tourism, maritime affairs, and fisheries. 

The Malaysian FM affirmed his nation’s recognition of great importance to beef up cooperation with Vietnam across various industries, adding that the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will partner with its Vietnamese counterpart to swiftly draw up an action programme on realizing the strategic partnership for the upcoming period, remove obstacles to the bilateral cooperation and provide the best possible conditions for Vietnamese nationals to live, study, and work in the country in line with law. 

The two FMs showed their elation at the comprehensive and sustainable development of the bilateral friendship and cooperation in recent times and agreed to intensify all-level delegation exchange via the Party, State, Government, and National Assembly channels, as well as people-to-people exchange.

They concurred to maintain and effectively carry out bilateral cooperation mechanisms, especially the Joint Committee on Economic, Scientific, and Technical Cooperation chaired by the two foreign ministers. 

Concerning regional and international issues of shared concern, they agreed to promote consultations and coordination in regional security and strategy related issues.

Vietnam and Malaysia agreed to join hands with other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to reinforce 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 were of the same mind about closer 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).

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The officials agreed to enhance 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. 

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 accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). 

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

Both sides reaffirmed their support for the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and will expedite negotiations to reach an effective and practical Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC). 

During the talks, Minh voiced his hope that the Malaysian foreign minister’s first ever visit to Vietnam will make considerable contributions to propelling the strategic partnership between the two countries forward.

He also expressed his appreciation for collaboration in national defence and security between both nations over the years, particularly experience sharing and exchange between army and security forces.