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Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc will attend the ASEAN Leaders’ Gathering (ALG) in Indonesia and pay a working visit to the country from October 11-12 at the invitation of Indonesian President Joko Widodo.
PM Phuc’s visit to Indonesia affirms Vietnam’s foreign policy of independence persification and mutilateralisation of international relations, and the importance that the country attaches to the relations with ASEAN member states and the strategic partnership with Indonesia. Also, the visit aims to promote cooperative opportunities in the fields of trade, investment, defence, security, agriculture, environment, climate change, among others, thus developing the Vietnam-Indonesia strategic partnership in a more comprehensive and practical manner.
Vietnam and Indonesia set up diplomatic relations on December 30, 1955, but the year 1990 marked the start of a new period in bilateral ties with the historic visit of President Suharto to Vietnam in November that year.
New milestones in bilateral ties included the signing of the “Framework of Friendly and Comprehensive Partnership Entering the 21st Century” and the Agreement on the Delimitation of Continental Shelf in June 2003 during President Megawati’s visit in 2003, and the official establishment of their strategic partnership during President Truong Tan Sang’s State-level visit to Indonesia in 2013.
Particularly, the visit to Indonesia by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, the first by a General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam to Indonesia, in August 2017 opened a new chapter in the bilateral relations.
The two nations have inked a line-up of cooperation agreements across various sectors, with the latest being the Plan of Action for the Implementation of Strategic Partnership during 2019-2023 signed in August this year.
Localities of both sides have enhanced cooperative ties, with partnership set up between several pairs of cities and provinces such as Kien Giang province and West Kalimantan, Ba Ria-Vung Tau province and Padang city, Da Nang city and Somarang city, capital city of Hanoi and capital city of Jakarta, Hue city and Yogyakarta city, and Soc Trang province and Lampang province.
In the past years, the two countries have enjoyed growing trade revenue, with 4.6 billion USD recorded in 2012, 5.6 billion USD in 2016, more than 6.5 billion USD in 2017, and 5.3 billion USD in the first eight months of the year. They are striving for 10 billion USD in two-way trade in the coming time. Vietnam’s major exports to Indonesia are rice, crude oil, cement, electronics spare parts and agricultural products. Meanwhile, the country imports from Indonesia fertiliser, gasoline, equipment, paper and confectionary.
As of June 2018, Indonesia ranked 5th in ASEAN and 30th out of 126 countries and territories having investment in Vietnam, with 514 million USD in 71 projects. Indonesian investors are interested in oil and gas exploring, mining exploitation, banking, hotel, wood processing, fibre production and garment.
Meanwhile, Vietnam has so far invested 13 projects with total registered capital of 54.7 million USD in Indonesia, most of which are in oil and mining.
Regarding security-defence ties, the two countries have maintained delegation exchanges, and implemented cooperation agreements on officer training and joint search and rescue activities.
The two countries are working to expand collaboration and experience sharing in the fields of legislation and justice at both central and local levels. Cultural and sports exchange activities have also receive due attention.
Also, they have inked Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) to bolster cooperation in fisheries, agriculture, finance and energy.