Vietnam, Malaysia promote strategic partnership

16:25 16/11/2021

Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son and his Malaysian counterpart Saifuddin Abdullah on November 15 co-chaired the sixth session of the Joint Commission for Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation between the two countries.

Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son co-chairs the sixth session of the Vietnam - Malaysia Joint Commission for Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation from Hanoi. (Photo: MOFA)

Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son co-chairs the sixth session of the Vietnam - Malaysia Joint Commission for Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation from Hanoi. (Photo: MOFA)

The two sides held that the Vietnam - Malaysia strategic partnership has developed strongly in various fields, especially in economy, trade and investment.

Malaysia is one of Vietnam’s major trade and investment partners. Despite the COVID-19 impact, their two-way trade turnover in the opening ninth months of 2021 still reached more than US$9 billion, a year-on-year rise of 24.3%.

Cooperation in other important fields such as national defense - security, education and training, culture, tourism, and labour has also been enhanced.

The two sides approved an action program to implement the Vietnam – Malaysia Strategic Partnership in the 2021-2025 period in order to effectively exploit the potential and strengths of each country.

They agreed to promote the exchange of high-level visits, implement important bilateral cooperation mechanisms and work closely to remove barriers, striving to raise bilateral trade turnover US$18 billion by 2025.

They also agreed to soon mutually recognize vaccine passports, facilitate citizens’ travel, and expand investment cooperation in digital transformation, digital economy, cyber security, innovation, and renewable energy.

Minister Son suggested that Malaysia create favourable conditions for Vietnamese enterprises to export their strong agricultural and aquatic products such as rice, coffee, and vegetables to the Malaysian market, as well as supporting Vietnam in developing the Halal food industry.

He also proposed that the two sides soon reopen domestic and international tourism and resume international commercial flights as soon as conditions allow. He expected that Malaysia would host more Vietnamese workers and simplify procedures for them.

For his part, Minister Abdullah affirmed that Malaysia attaches great importance to and wishes to promote relations with Vietnam which is Malaysia’s only strategic partner in ASEAN.

He welcomed Son’s proposals, and suggested that Vietnam increase palm oil imports from Malaysia, and create conditions for Malaysia to open international education and training institutions in Vietnam.

The two sides consented to strengthen mutual support and closely coordinate at international and regional forums, especially at the United Nations, ASEAN and ASEAN-led mechanisms. They agreed to take advantage of the opportunities and benefits of new-generation free trade agreements, including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

With regard to the East Sea issue, the two sides emphasized the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight in the sea, and of settling disputes by peaceful means on the basis of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS).

They voiced their support for serious and complete implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and early negotiations to achieve an effective, substantive and appropriate Code of Conduct in the sea (COC) in line with international law, including UNCLOS.

The two Foreign Ministers signed the minutes of the meeting and agreed to hold the seventh session at a convenient time in Vietnam.