Vietnam attaches great importance to develop strategic partnership with Thailand
Updated at Tuesday, 15 Aug 2017, 12:18
The Hanoitimes - Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc hosted a reception for President of the National Legislative Assembly of Thailand Pornpetch Wichitcholchai in Hanoi on August 14.
The PM said he will lead a high-level Government delegation to visit Thailand from August 17-19 to exchange measures to promote bilateral friendship and cooperation, and increase the two countries’ strategic partnership.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc receives President of the National Legislative Assembly of Thailand Pornpetch Wichitcholchai
Vietnam and Thailand have enhanced coordination in various fields from politics, security, and defense to economics, trade, tourism, culture and society in recent times, Phuc said. The tourism cooperation also developed with about 800,000 Vietnamese tourists visiting Thailand in 2016 while over 200,000 Thais travelling to Vietnam, he noted.
Thailand is the biggest trade partner of Vietnam in ASEAN with two-way trade reaching 12.5 billion USD in 2016. However, as Vietnam ran a trade deficit of 5 billion USD with Thailand, Phuc hoped the two countries will seek measures to balance trade and increase the bilateral trade to 20 billion USD by 2020.
The PM proposed Thailand open its market for Vietnamese goods and create more favourable conditions for Vietnamese workers to work in the country as well as encourage Thai businesses to boost investment in Vietnam. Vietnam will address difficulties and create conditions for Thai investors to do business, he affirmed.
For his part, Pornpetch highlighted the sound relations between Vietnamese and Thai legislatures. The two sides have exchanged ways to boost bilateral cooperation at international forums. Thailand and Vietnam are big trade and investment partners, he said, adding that they have pushed cooperation in other fields such as security, defense, and marine patrol.
The connection of roads and railways between Thailand and Vietnam via third countries in the future will be an important factor to promote bilateral wide-ranging cooperation, including tourism, he said, hoping that the two sides will strengthen measures to draw more Thai tourists to Vietnam.
** The same day, Chairwoman of the National Assembly (NA) of Vietnam Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and President of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) of Thailand Pornpetch Wichitcholchai, held talks with each other. The two sides noted the soundly developing relations between the countries, which can be seen through regular mutual visits by high-ranking delegations.
Chairwoman Ngan affirmed Vietnam’s consistent policy of prioritising the strategic partnership with Thailand. She asked both sides to work more closely to effectively carry out the plan of action to implement their strategic partnership between 2014 and 2018, as well as important cooperation mechanisms such as the joint cabinet meeting, the political consultation, the high-level dialogue on security, and the dialogue on defence policy.
Chairwoman of the National Assembly of Vietnam Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan welcomed President of the National Legislative Assembly of Thailand Pornpetch Wichitcholchai
The officials said to optimise the countries’ cooperation potential, specialised agencies of the two parliaments should closely supervise the Governments’ cooperation agreements and maintain delegation exchanges at all levels. The two parliamentary friendship groups also need to increase connections.
Highlighting thriving trade and investment ties, they noted Thailand ranks 10th among foreign investors in and is the biggest ASEAN trade partner of Vietnam, which in turn is the eighth largest foreign investor in Thailand.
Chairwoman Ngan asked the two sides to coordinate more strongly to reach the targeted trade revenue of 20 billion USD in 2020 and reduce trade imbalance since Vietnam still records high deficit in trade with Thailand. They should provide more favourable conditions for Vietnamese and Thai businesses to boost trade and investment activities, she added.
She pledged optimal conditions of the NA and the Government of Vietnam for Thai firms to invest in such fields as tourism (especially marine tourism), textile-garment, footwear, cosmetics, food, agricultural products, machinery, chemistry and material production. These are the areas that match Thailand’s strength and Vietnam’s potential.
Echoing his host’s viewpoint, NLA President Pornpetch Wichitcholchai said the two countries need to step up partnership in trade and investment and gradually balance their trade. Thailand wants more Vietnamese investment, he noted, stressing that the two legislative agencies are ready to work together to resolve obstacles facing investors.
Regarding cooperation in ASEAN, Chairwoman Ngan said as ASEAN members, Vietnam and Thailand need to enhance solidarity to promote the bloc’s unity, strength and central role. They should persist in ASEAN’s common principles and viewpoints on regional global issues.
She urged further coordination with each other and with other Mekong countries to promote cooperation, management and sustainable use of the river’s water resources, and to effectively implement the outcomes of the seventh Summit of the Ayeyawady – Chao Phraya – Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS 7), held in October 2016.
In terms of agriculture, fisheries and labour, the legislators discussed the acceleration of signing a new memorandum of understanding on agricultural cooperation between Vietnam and Thailand, and the signing of an agreement on setting up a hotline for fishery activities at sea.
Ngan suggested both sides consider expanding the fields and jobs opened for Vietnamese workers in Thailand. The two countries’ labour ministries need to promptly carry out relevant procedures so that Thailand can officially recruit Vietnamese workers.
At the talks, the officials discussed international and regional issues of shared concern. Chairwoman Ngan said Vietnam wants to keep coordinating with Thailand to strengthen ASEAN’s solidarity, boost the bloc’s common voice and role in settling security and development affairs in the region, and help deal with East Sea disputes through peaceful means in line with international law.
Anh Kiet - Nhu Huong