Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad (left) and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc Photo: VNA
During his stay in Vietnam, PM Mahathir held talks with PM Phuc; and paid a courtesy visit to General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam and President Nguyen Phu Trong.
The Malaysian PM also visited FPT Group and held a dialogue with students of FPT University at Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park in Hanoi, and made a field trip to the Noi Bai Industrial Park.
At these meetings, the two sides noted with pleasure the strong development of the Vietnam-Malaysia relationship over the past time.
They shared the views that the two countries should enhance and deepen the strategic partnership given profound changes in Asia-Pacific and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in particular with both opportunities and challenges, for the sake of the Vietnamese and Malaysian people, and for peace, cooperation and prosperous development in the region and the world.
The two sides issued a joint statement, under which they agreed to maintain frequent high-level contacts and increase discussions on strategic issues through the exchange of high-level visits, as well as regular exchanges among political parties, governmental and parliamentary delegations.
The two leaders also pledged to expand bilateral cooperation through the existing mechanisms and consultations platforms, including the Joint Committee for Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation (JCM) and the Senior Officials’ Strategic Dialogue (SOSD).
They consented to increase bilateral exchanges in defense through the prompt establishment of the High Level Committee (HLC) on Defence Cooperation. Both sides agreed to hold the first meeting of the HLC on Defence Cooperation that will be hosted by Vietnam in 2019.
Both sides affirmed their commitment to enhancing further the cooperation in preventing and combating transnational and high-tech crimes, and other crimes related to drugs, piracy, terrorism and illegal immigration.
They concurred to promote the mutual import and export of each country’s products, including electrical and electronics, petroleum products, chemicals and chemical products, manufactures of metal, machinery, equipment and parts, agricultural produce, palm oil, halal products, seafood, as well as garments and textiles, and raise the total trade to reach 15 billion USD or higher by 2020.
Both sides agreed to enhance cooperation between investment agencies and businesses of the two countries, including coordination to organise investment promotion events so that enterprises can seek investment opportunities in each nation.
They were unanimous to enhance cooperation on the basis of mutual benefit and welcomed the organisation of the Joint Working Group Meeting to implement the Memorandum of Understanding on Labour Recruitment and Placement signed in 2015.
Besides, the two nations agreed to promote comprehensive connectivity and boost cultural and arts exchanges and tourism by increasing the frequency of Vietnam-Malaysia direct flights. Both sides agreed to finalise the Air Services Agreement (ASA) for signing at a suitable time.
Both sides also agreed to give due attention to and provide favorable conditions for the two countries’ public and non-governmental organisations, particularly the business and friendship associations, to increase exchanges and cooperation as part of the joint effort to promote cooperation in economics, tourism and culture. Both sides encouraged their respective localities to step up cooperation through the exchange of delegations at various levels and share management expertise, particularly in urban planning, transport infrastructure, and innovative entrepreneurship.
The two PMs emphasised the importance of maintaining ASEAN unity and centrality, and ensuring the full and effective implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025. They reaffirmed their commitment to work with other ASEAN members in promoting a cohesive, coherent, resilient, responsive and innovative ASEAN Community that plays a central role in the evolving regional architecture.
Both sides underlined the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security and the rule of law in the region, which includes the safety, security and freedom of navigation and over-flight in the East Sea and expressed serious concerns over recent developments in the East Sea. The two sides agreed that disputes shall be resolved through peaceful means, including the full respect for legal and diplomatic processes, without resorting to the threat or use of force, in accordance with the principles of international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS.
On the occasion, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad witnessed the signing of a letter of intent on an MoU on cooperation in legal enforcement and search and rescue at sea, and the exchange of letters on the establishment of Malaysia-Vietnam friendship parliamentarians’ group./.