Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong (R) welcomes Indonesian President Joko Widodo in September 2018. (Photo: VNA)
Strategic trust and benefits are among factors behind the strong development of the relations between Vietnam and Indonesia, who share a lot of cultural and historical similarities, according to Vietnamese Ambassador to Indonesia Pham Vinh Quang.
In an interview granted to Vietnam News Agency’s correspondent in Jakarta on December 29, the Vietnamese diplomat said that the two countries have attached much importance to furthering their ties amidst complicated global and regional situation and the fact that Indonesia was busy with its general election in 2019.
In terms of political and diplomatic relations, the two sides have maintained high-level visits, including those made by Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, and many Indonesia leaders.
In 2019 alone, the two countries organised 27 military exchanges, and held activities to mark the 60th anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh’s visit to Indonesia and President Sukarno’s trip to Vietnam. According to former President Megawati Sukarnoputri, who is Sukarno’s daughter, the celebration created opportunities for both nations to celebrate their 60-year friendship, which should be preserved for the sake of bilateral relations as well as global peace.
Ambassador Quang also said that Vietnam and Indonesia have worked to boost economic, trade and investment relations, with two-way trade rising from 8.4 billion USD in 2018 to 9.1 billion USD in 2019. With this growth, it is possible for them to achieve the target of 10 billion USD in import-export revenue next year.
In his opinion, both nations have more opportunities to cooperate in the field, considering that Vietnam is promoting its open trade and global integration policies while Indonesia is aiming to become the world’s 4th largest economy by 2045.
However, Vietnam should work more to improve its trade balance with Indonesia as it ran trade deficit with the country in 2019. The Vietnamese Embassy in Indonesia will coordinate with competent authorities in the host nation to bring more Vietnamese goods to the market, the diplomat said.
The ambassador underlined the two countries have enjoyed sound cooperation in tourism, culture and sport in the past year, citing the opening of Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet Air’s direct air routes to Bali resort island as an example. The scheduled opening of direct flights between Hanoi and Jakarta will create more impetus for trade and tourism between the two countries.
Quang particularly laid stress on the enhanced strategic faith between the two nations despite complicated situation in the world and the region.
Vietnam and Indonesia share a multitude of views with each other, including pursuing sustainable peace and stability in the Asian-Pacific region and the world as a whole. They both have the policy on not siding with any country to act against a third country, while making positive contributions to promoting multilateral system in the world and enhancing order based on international law.
However, Quang said that the two sides should work more to settle the illegal fishing issue, hoping the challenge could be tackled as Vietnamese and Indonesian leaders have set the target of early concluding negotiations on delimitating the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Regarding cooperation in 2020, the ambassador said that this is a good time for the two nations to step up collaboration as they will both serve as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council and Vietnam is playing the role as the ASEAN Chair in the year.
He informed that the two countries will organise a wide range of activities to mark their 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations as well, with the main focus on high-level visits.
Other programmes have been scheduled such as a trade and investment forum, Vietnamese Day and Week events in Jakarta, Bali, Yorgyakarta and Bandung, and cultural and sport exchange activities, he said.VNA