Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh held talks with visiting Malaysian PM Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob in Hanoi on March 21.
Vietnam, Malaysia agree to boost cooperation in all fields
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh held talks with visiting Malaysian PM Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob on March 21 (Photo: VNA)
This is the first official visit to Vietnam by PM Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob since he took office in August 2021.
During the talks, the Vietnamese PM affirmed the significance of the Malaysian PM’s visit, which he said will create a new momentum for the Vietnam-Malaysia cooperation, especially after seven years of the strategic partnership and towards the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties (1973-2023).
He congratulated Malaysia for rising to the 25th place in the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2021, believing that the country will continue to post growth and improve its global competitiveness.
PM Chinh informed his guest on Vietnam’s major achievements after 35 years of ‘Doi moi’ (Renewal), and underlined that generations of Vietnamese leaders, recently under the leadership of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, have step by step complete the theory on socialism building and the path towards socialism in Vietnam, based on the cornerstone ideology of making the people the centre, the subjective, the driving force and the target of development towards equality and social progress.
Hailing Vietnam’s accomplishments in the recent past, Malaysian PM Ismail Sabri Yaakob highly valued the role of the Vietnamese Party and State in leading the country in safely adapting to and effectively bringing COVID-19 under control while fostering socio-economic recovery and development, thus raising the country’s role and position in the region and the world.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (Photo: VNA)
He affirmed that Malaysia always gives high priority to further bolstering cooperation with Vietnam – the country’s sole strategic partner in Southeast Asia.
The two leaders affirmed their consensus on orientations to promote the bilateral cooperation across all fields for socio-economic recovery and development in the post-pandemic period, including increasing the exchange of high-ranking delegations and at all levels, optimising bilateral cooperation mechanism, particularly the Joint Committee for Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation; well implementing the action programme for the strategic partnership during the 2021-25; and stepping up people-to-people exchanges and holding activities marking the 50th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties next year.
The leaders shared the view that economic, trade and investment cooperation has been a bright spot in the bilateral ties, and the two countries hold substantial potential to advance their partnership in those fields.
They agreed to work to raise two-way trade to 18 billion USD or even higher by 2025, and step up the trading of goods of their strength such as agricultural and aquatic products, Halal products and electronic components.
The two sides will also study the building of a mechanism on information sharing regarding trade remedies.
Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob (Photo: VNA)
The Malaysian PM pledged that Malaysia stands ready to help Vietnam expand and develop the Halal industry.
PM Chinh suggested Malaysian firms step up investment in support industries, high-quality infrastructure, innovation, high-tech and IT application in digital transformation in Vietnam.
The two PMs held that cooperation in national defence and security has brought about pragmatic results, and consented to push for the early signing of a memorandum of understanding on bilateral defence collaboration, and enhance cyber security and maritime cooperation.
They also compared notes on measures to boost partnerships in other areas like food security, labour, education, justice, science-technology, culture, sports and tourism.
Both welcomed the mutual recognition of COVID-19 vaccine passports, which will facilitate the travelling of the two countries’ people, especially when Vietnam fully opened its doors to international visitors from March 15, and Malaysia will open its borders from April 1.
Regarding regional and international issues of shared concern, the leaders highly valued the close cooperation between Vietnam and Malaysia at regional and international forums, and concurred to join efforts to build a united ASEAN and promote the bloc’s centrality in addressing emerging regional issues.
For the East Sea issue, they agreed to intensify coordination in information and stance with ASEAN, and called on related sides to exercise restraint, neither use force nor threaten to use force, and observe international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
The PMs emphasised the importance of fully and effectively implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), maintaining and promoting a conducive environment for negotiations of the Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea (COC) to reach a substantive and effective document, in accordance with international law, including the UNCLOS 1982.
Following their talks, the PMs witnessed the exchange of a number of cooperation documents, including an MoU on recruitment, employment and repatriation of labourers, and another on legal cooperation between the Vietnamese and Malaysian governments, along with a cooperation agreement between the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) and Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama), and a letter of intent on cooperation between the two Diplomatic Academies of the two Foreign Ministries.
Party General Secretary welcomes Malaysian Prime Minister
General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong received Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob in Hanoi on March 21, describing the latter’s official visit to Vietnam as a milestone in bilateral ties.
The Malaysian PM congratulated Vietnam on its recent achievements in socio-economic development, especially in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery.
He stressed Malaysia attaches importance to its strategic partnership with Vietnam, adding his country hopes the two sides will strengthen links in economy, trade, investment, and people-to-people exchange, and that it is ready to step up tourism and maritime cooperation to tap into potential of both nations.
PM Ismail Sabri agreed to enhance party-to-party relations via mutual visits, especially at the high-ranking level, and exchanges between parties’ organisations so as to share experience.
Welcoming PM Ismail Sabri, General Secretary Trong described the Malaysian PM’s official visit to Vietnam as a milestone helping promote the traditional friendship, mutual trust, and strategic partnership between the two countries in all fields in a result-oriented manner
The Party leader affirmed Vietnam’s consistent policy of treasuring and reinforcing the strategic partnership with Malaysia.
He asked the two sides to bring into play the obtained outcomes, improve the effectiveness of cooperation mechanisms, including relations between their political parties, step up bilateral connections as well as cooperation within ASEAN and regional and international forums.
Regarding the East Sea, the Party leader suggested Vietnam and Malaysia jointly and actively consolidate peace and cooperation in the East Sea in order to ensure the rights and legitimate interests of the parties under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
In that spirit, he recommended the two countries to increase viewpoint exchange and maritime cooperation in different fields, thereby together maintaining peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the region.
President suggests Vietnam, Malaysia take advantage of FTAs
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc has recommended Vietnam and Malaysia capitalise on free trade agreements of which both are members, particularly the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
He made the recommendation in Hanoi on March 21 while hosting visiting Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob, who informed him of key outcomes of talks with his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Minh Chinh. Accordingly, the two PMs agreed to boost cooperation in all fields, particularly economy, trade, investment, and labour; effectively implement the action plan to realise the nations’ strategic partnership for 2021-2025; and co-organise activities to mark 50 years of the Vietnam-Malaysia diplomatic relations.
Phuc said he appreciates the results of the substantive talks and the documents signed by the two sides on this occasion, helping to create more legal basis for bilateral cooperation.
The President commended the fact that the two sides have agreed in principle to recognise each other’s vaccine certificates, creating favourable conditions for travel and trade between the countries.
The State leader suggested Vietnam and Malaysia step up cooperation in building the circular economy within the framework of the ASEAN Economic Community for mutual recovery and development.
Phuc wished that the two sides continued to support and cooperate actively at the United Nations, APEC, ASEAN and regional and international forums. Joining other ASEAN member states to strengthen the bloc’s solidarity, promote its centrality, and build a prosperous and strong ASEAN Community is also necessary, he noted.
On the basis of the great cooperation potential between the two countries, both host and guest agreed to seek new areas of cooperation, striving to further increase two-way trade turnover; and to strengthen join works in tourism, culture, science and technology, and people-to-people exchange.
On the occasion, Phuc sent his best wishes to and invited the Malaysian King to visit Vietnam in an appropriate time in the future. Meanwhile, the Malaysian PM conveyed the king’s invitation to the Vietnamese leader to soon make a State-level visit to Malaysia.
NA always treasures Vietnam-Malaysia strategic partnership: Top legislator
The National Assembly of Vietnam has always attached great importance to and actively contributed to the stronger development of the Vietnam-Malaysia strategic partnership, said NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue.
While receiving Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob in Hanoi on March 21, Hue said the Malaysian PM’s first visit to Vietnam would help create momentum to further promote and deepen the strategic partnership between the two countries.
The bilateral relationship is now at its best ever, he said, adding that cooperative ties have been developed and expanded both intensively and extensively, especially in such fields as politics, security, national defence, economy, trade, investment and labour.
The top legislator spoke highly of the outcomes of the earlier talks between PM Ismail Sabri and his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Minh Chinh, as well as the signing of new agreements between Vietnam and Malaysia, including agreements on labour and legal cooperation.
He suggested the two governments soon carry out cooperation measures in a bid to recover together and boost socio-economic development.
The NA Chairman also proposed the Malaysian Government continue create favourable conditions for Vietnamese guest workers in Malaysia.
The parliaments of Vietnam and Malaysia should discuss towards signing a cooperation agreement, and increase the exchange of delegations and exchanges between parliamentarians in order to share experience in law-making and enhance mutual understanding and trust, Hue said.
Ismail Sabri affirmed that Malaysia has always paid due attention to further strengthening and developing its strategic partnership with Vietnam, and highly evaluated the two parliaments’ role in promoting cooperative relations between the two countries.
He pledged to prioritise enhancing cooperation between Malaysia and Vietnam in order to fully open their doors, recover and step up socio-economic development by effectively implementing the action programme on the deployment of the Malaysia-Vietnam strategic partnership in the 2021-2025 period and enhancing ties in the fields of new growth driving forces such as green economy, digital economy and digital transformation.
The PM also highly appreciated the close cooperation between the Malaysian and Vietnamese parliaments at multilateral parliamentary forums like the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF).
Regarding the East Sea, Hue suggested Vietnam and Malaysia jointly reinforce peace and cooperation in the East Sea in order to ensure the legitimate rights and interests of the concerned parties in line with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The two countries should increase viewpoint exchange and maritime cooperation, thereby together maintaining peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the region, he said.
On this occasion, Hue asked the PM to convey his invitations to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate of Malaysia to visit Vietnam when conditions allow.
The Malaysian PM expressed his wish to welcome NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue on an official visit to Malaysia at an appropriate time.
Vietnam, Malaysia issue joint press statement
Vietnam and Malaysia have issued a joint press statement within the framework of the Vietnam visit by Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob and a high-ranking delegation of the Malaysian Government at the invitation of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.
The following is the full text of the joint press statement.
1. At the invitation of H.E. Mr. Pham Minh Chinh, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, H.E. Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Prime Minister of Malaysia, paid an official visit to Vietnam from March 20-22, 2022. The visit demonstrated the strong commitment of both sides in advancing their long-term friendship and Strategic Partnership and heading together towards sustainable pandemic recovery.
2. During the visit, Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob was accorded an official welcoming ceremony; and held bilateral talks with Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh. The Prime Minister of Malaysia also paid courtesy calls on H.E. Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, H.E. Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc, President of the State, and H.E. Vuong Dinh Hue, Chairman of the National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
3. Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh witnessed the exchange of bilateral documents, including the Memorandum of Understanding on Legal Cooperation Activities; and the Memorandum of Understanding on the Recruitment, Employment and Repatriation of Workers. Both sides further signed a Letter of Intent expressing the intention to facilitate work towards the finalisation of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Institute of Diplomatic and Foreign Relations of Malaysia and the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam on Cooperation in the Field of Training Diplomats. Both sides also welcomed the Professional Cooperation Agreement signed between the Malaysian National News Agency (BERNAMA) and Vietnam News Agency.
Strengthening the Vietnam – Malaysia Strategic Partnership
4. The leaders commended the strong and substantive development of the Strategic Partnership between the two countries. Both sides agreed to further strengthen political confidence and develop Vietnam – Malaysia Strategic Partnership in a deeper and more comprehensive manner ahead of key milestone of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2023.
5. Both sides affirmed commitment towards deepening political and economic cooperation by promoting and conducting regular high-level engagements, strengthening existing bilateral cooperation mechanisms, notably the Joint Commission for Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation (JCM) and the Joint Trade Committee (JTC). Both sides agreed to continue working closely for the effective implementation of their signed agreements, including the Vietnam – Malaysia Plan of Action for implementation of the Strategic Partnership for 2021 – 2025.
6. The Leaders emphasised the importance of steadily promoting a strong, balanced and sustainable two-way trade striving towards the target of 18 billion USD by 2025 with a view to having balanced trade between both countries. In this regard, they agreed to explore ways to improve market access for key export products of both countries, including agriculture and aquaculture products, Halal products, processed foods, electronic components and products.
7. Vietnam’s Leaders highly valued the fact that Malaysia is the second largest ASEAN investors in Vietnam with the total registered capital of 13 billion USD. Both sides agreed to further facilitate the expansion of investment in the two countries, particularly in high potential areas such as automation, smart logistics, innovation, high technology, digital economy, digital transformation. The Leaders also agreed to undertake joint efforts in taking advantages of new trade agreements of which the two countries are members, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to further deepen their trade linkage.
8. The Leaders expressed satisfaction over the defence and security cooperation and agreed to enhance information exchange and cooperation between the Navies and the Coast Guards of the two countries to effectively address emerging maritime issues. Both sides agreed to strengthen maritime and ocean cooperation through prioritizing sustainable development of maritime economy, management of maritime resources and protection of marine environment.
9. Both sides requested to effectively implement the newly renewed MOU on the Recruitment, Employment and Repatriation of Workers. The Leaders committed to continue promoting people-to-people exchange through the enhancement of cooperation in areas of education, culture and tourism.
10. Malaysia continues to offer opportunities for Vietnamese officials to participate in the training and capacity building courses under the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme (MTCP).
Recovering together towards sustainable socio-economic development
11. The Leaders reiterated the importance of closer cooperation towards socio-economic resilience and sustainable development at post COVID-19 pandemic. Both sides agreed to accelerate negotiations for a new Agreement on Air Services and welcomed the early conclusion of the agreement on mutual recognition of COVID-19 vaccination certificates, which will facilitate the safe and regular commercial travel between both countries.
Regional and International Cooperation
12. The Leaders exchanged their views on key global and regional developments. Both sides committed to enhance coordination on building ASEAN Community, including the ASEAN Community’s Post-2025 Vision under Malaysia’s role as the permanent shepherd. They expressed support for ASEAN’s active role in assisting Myanmar to overcome the current crisis, and to return to normalcy, including the implementation of the Five-Point Consensus.
13. The Leaders reiterated ASEAN’s consistent position on the South China Sea and reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace, security, stability, safety, and freedom of navigation and over-flight in and above the South China Sea, and peaceful resolution of disputes without resorting to threat or use of force, in accordance with the universally recognised principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). They called for the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in its entirety, and were encouraged by the progress of the substantive negotiations towards the conclusion of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) in accordance with international law, including 1982 UNCLOS. They emphasised the need to maintain and promote an environment conducive to the COC negotiations.
14. Both sides expressed satisfaction at the significant outcomes of the visit which helped to further the friendship and Strategic Partnership between Malaysia and Vietnam. Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob highly appreciated the warm welcome and gracious hospitality extended to the Malaysian delegation by the Leaders and the people of Vietnam during his visit. The Prime Minister of Malaysia further invited the Leaders of Vietnam to visit Malaysia at the convenient opportunities./.