Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung meets with Thai Princess Maha Chakri
Sirindhorn in in Bangkok yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
BANGKOK (VNS) — Co-operation between Viet Nam and Thailand has flourished, demonstrating the growing efficiency and importance of their strategic partnership, prime ministers Nguyen Tan Dung and Prayut Chan-o-cha said at their retreat talks and the joint Cabinet meeting in Bangkok yesterday.
The joint Vietnamese-Thai Cabinet meeting was the third instance and the first since the countries set up their strategic partnership in June 2013.
The visiting Vietnamese leader stressed that Viet Nam continually attaches importance to its traditional amity and comprehensive co-operation with Thailand and supports the latter's active contributions to regional and global peace, stability, cooperation and development.
Prayut voiced his willingness to closely work with Viet Nam to foster bilateral relations in a result-oriented fashion.
The two PMs agreed on major cooperation orientations to intensify the efficiency of the strategic partnership.
They concurred to enhance all-level delegation exchanges; implement the action programme on implementing the Viet Nam-Thailand strategic partnership between 2014 and 2018 as well as possible; optimise cooperation mechanisms such as the joint Cabinet meeting, the Joint Committee on Bilateral Cooperation, the Foreign Minister Retreat, and the Joint Working Group on Political-Security Cooperation; and closely coordinate to organise ceremonies marking the 40th anniversary of their diplomatic relations (1976-2016).
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, his wife (left) is greeted by his Thai counterpart, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha.
— VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
They also agreed to continue effectively carrying out the bilateral defence cooperation agreement; shortly establish and put a defence policy dialogue mechanism into operation between the Vietnamese Deputy Defence Minister and the Standing Secretary of the Thai Defence Ministry as well as a high-ranking security dialogue mechanism between the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security and the Royal Thai Police; and push forward the negotiations on and signing of cooperation deals in these fields such as an extradition agreement.
The two sides affirmed that they will realise the commitment to not let any organisations or individuals take advantage of their respective countries' territories to engage in sabotage activities against the other country.
The nations intend to bring their trade to US$20 billion by 2020, given the fact that Thailand is among the top 10 foreign direct investors in and the leading ASEAN trade partner of Viet Nam.
PM Dung asked Thailand to beef up its investments in areas of mutual interest, especially sea tourism, textile-garment and footwear industries, farm produce production and processing, mechanics, chemistry and material production.
Viet Nam and Thailand were unanimous in strengthening collaboration in other realms like labour, culture, sports, education, aquatic products, science-technology and connectivity, including the opening of passenger transportation services along fixed routes and coastal transport cooperation among Viet Nam, Thailand and Cambodia.
The two sides also agreed to increase affiliations between their localities and people-to-people exchanges coordinated through the Viet Nam-Thailand and Thailand-Viet Nam Friendship Associations.
Discussing regional and international issues of shared concern, the PMs renewed the viewpoint made in the Statement of the Chairman of the 26 th ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last April. They pledged to continue working closely and with other ASEAN nations to promote the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community later this year while maintaining the bloc's leadership and centrality in regional strategic matters.
They voiced concern over recent developments in the East Sea that have affected trust, peace, security and stability in the region and reiterated the importance of ensuring peace, stability as well as marine and aviation safety and freedom in the waters.
The leaders urged all parties concerned to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea; build, sustain and bolster mutual trust; exercise self-restraint and not use or threaten to use force; settle disputes through peaceful measures in compliance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; and boost dialogues and consultations to expeditiously complete a code of conduct in the waters.
The Thailand-Viet Nam Joint Cabinet meeting in Bangkok yesterday was the first of its kind since the countries
set up their strategic partnership in 2013. — VNA Photo Duc Tam.
Concluding the joint meeting, the PMs witnessed the signing of a number of co-operation agreements, including a joint statement on the third joint Viet Nam-Thailand Cabinet meeting, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on labour co-operation, an agreement on labour recruitment, an MoU on co-operation between Viet Nam's Long An Province and Thailand's Trat province, and an MoU on co-operation between Viet Nam's Kon Tum Province and Thailand's Ubon Ratchathani Province.
Following the signings, the two sides held a press conference on the official Thailand visit by PM Dung and the outcomes of the third joint Cabinet meeting. They also issued a joint communique.
PM Dung met with Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and President of the Thailand National Legislative Assembly Pornpetch Wichicholchai. He also attended a Viet Nam-Thailand business forum yesterday as part of his visit.
The PM lauded the role that the princess and the Thai Royal Family played in supporting the Vietnamese community in Thailand.
He thanked the princess for her assistance to a number of Vietnamese primary schools, as well as the scientific research co-operation between the two countries. He also expressed his hope that the princess and the Royal Family would help preserve Mekong River water resources.
For her part, the Thai princess said that as a Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO she was willing to help promote collaboration on education between Thailand and Viet Nam.
At a meeting with Thailand National Legislative Assembly President Pornpetch Wichicholchai, the PM briefed the host on the outcomes of his talks with his counterpart Prayut and the Joint Cabinet Meeting, with the signing of a joint statement and four agreements.
The joint statement maps out measures to bolster bilateral ties in politics, diplomacy, economy, trade, education, tourism, defence, security and people-to-people interactions, he noted.
Both sides also agreed to promote mutual support for the interest of both peoples and the ASEAN region, he said.
Pornpetch Wichicholchai said he hoped the two legislative bodies would co-operate on activities to mark the 40th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties in 2016.
He congratulated Viet Nam on successfully organising the 132nd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU-32).
Speaking at the Viet Nam-Thailand business forum, the PM said Viet Nam highly values Thai-funded projects and pledged that the country would create all favourable conditions for Thai investors to develop stable businesses.
Viet Nam is speeding up international integration in all fields and has set up relationships with almost all countries around the globe, he said. The country has strategic partnerships with 13 countries, including Thailand, and trade ties with more than 200 countries and territories.
From 2011 to 2015, the country saw its average annual trade revenue rise about 15 per cent, with last year's revenue reaching $300 billion. It is estimated to hit $350 billion this year.
Thailand is now the 10th largest investor in Viet Nam with 392 projects worth nearly $7 billion. The country is also Viet Nam's fifth largest trade partner with about $4.4 billion in trade for the first five months of the year.
At the Joint Cabinet Meeting, the two sides agreed to raise trade to $20 billion by 2020, he said, adding that both would focus on co-operation in sea tourism, passenger transportation, garment-textile, footwear, agriculture, seafood, farm produce processing and manufacturing.
The same day, PM Dung also met with the Vietnamese community in Thailand, lauding their contributions to national construction and defence. He said he hoped they would continue co-operating with those at home for the growth of the country. — VNS