Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam has always treasured and prioritised the promotion of economic cooperation with Cambodia for the benefit of their people and businesses, and to support the development goals of each nation, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has said.
PM Phuc made the statement on December 7 while holding talks with Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen who has been on an official visit to Vietnam from December 6-8.
Congratulating PM Hun Sen and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) on their victory in the election of the sixth National Assembly, PM Phuc said that the Cambodian leader’s visit plays an important role in consolidating and creating impetus for bilateral relations.
Asserting the importance of consolidating friendship and solidarity on the basis of mutual trust, benefits, understanding, and respect to maintain a peaceful and stable environment, the two leaders agreed to organise grand ceremonies in both nations to mark the 40th anniversary of Cambodia’s victory over the genocidal regime (January 7, 1979-2019).
They expressed delight at the sound development of the bilateral relations over the recent years, with the regular exchange of meetings and visits by high-level leaders, sectors, and border-sharing localities.
Two-way trade has made giant strides in 2018, which is estimated at 4.5 billion USD for the whole year. Vietnam continues to be one of the top ten investors in the neighbouring country, registering over 3 billion USD in more than 200 projects. Vietnam is the second biggest source of international visitors to Cambodia with over 500,000 arrivals.
PM Phuc suggested accelerating the implementation of a framework agreement on connecting the two economies signed in 2017, giving due attention to enhancing cooperation in transport, tourism, telecommunications, and banking, among others; as well as putting model border markets in Da commune in Menot district of Cambodia’s Tbong Khmum province into use soon.
Both leaders demanded positive coordination to match Cambodia’s “Quadrangle-Development Strategy” with Vietnam’s ability and strengths, while calling for efforts to outline rational policies to increase Vietnamese investments in Cambodia and vice versa.
The two sides applauded efforts made by Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade and Cambodia’s Ministry of Commerce to complete negotiations on the Border Trade Agreement and sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in recognition of the results. They expressed their belief that the two countries will reach the target of 5 billion USD by 2020.
The leaders agreed to enhance cooperation in education-training, agro-forestry-aquaculture, culture-arts and people-to-people exchange.
PM Hun Sen thanked Vietnam for its provision of scholarships to Cambodian students and government personnel to pursue studies in Vietnam, stressing that his country’s development over the last 40 years cannot be separated from the close cooperation and assistance of the Vietnamese Government and people.
They reached a consensus on shaping the bilateral relations under the motto of “good neighbourliness, traditional friendship, and comprehensive cooperation and long-term sustainability”, adding that ties will be deepened via visits and exchange of delegations at all levels, as well as the existing 22 dialogue and cooperation mechanisms.
Furthermore, the two PMs were unanimous in enhancing the efficiency of defence-security cooperation, pursuing the principle of not letting hostile forces use their countries’ territories to harm the other nation’s security, and joining hands in preventing all kinds of crime to ensure peace and security in each nation.
The two leaders agreed to continue tackling remaining issues in the spirit of friendship and mutual understanding, and strive to sign two documents to officially legalise 84 percent of the border demarcation and marker planting-related work in 2019, towards building a borderline of peace, friendship, cooperation, and development between the two countries.
They said the two sides will work closely together to assure the legal status, as well as support and create favourable conditions for Vietnamese-Cambodians to have stable lives in Cambodia, thus contributing to its socio-economic development and becoming an effective bridge for bilateral relations.
Regarding regional and global issues, the two leaders agreed on the importance to maintain peace, security, and stability in the region, affirming that the two countries will coordinate closely to continue building and developing the ASEAN Community, upholding ASEAN principles, consolidating solidarity, and enhancing self-reliance and the central role of ASEAN.
They also pledged to promote cooperation within the Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam Development Triangle and the Greater Mekong Sub-region to narrow the development gap and sustainably manage and use Mekong water resources, towards completing UN sustainable development goals.
In the immediate future, the two countries will closely coordinate together in 2020 when Vietnam will takes over the ASEAN Chairmanship and Cambodia will host the ASEM Summit.
Immediately after the talks, the PMs witnessed the signing of five cooperation documents, including a government-level MoU on Vietnam-Cambodia Transport Cooperation Strategy for 2018-2025 with a vision to 2030; MoUs on the completion of negotiations of the border trade agreement and education cooperation; the minutes on the completion of 84 percent of the border demarcation and marker planting work in the field and future plans for the work; and an agreement on the implementation of a project using Vietnam’s non-refundable aid capital for Cambodia to build a number of items in the community-based voluntary drug detoxification centre project in Preah Sihanouk province.
Afterwards, PM Phuc and his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen held a joint press conference.–VNA