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Vietnam Today

Vietnam & Cambodia to boost ties

Released at: 10:51, 26/04/2017

Vietnam & Cambodia to boost ties

King Norodom Shinamoni (R) had talks with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his spouse. Photo: VGP

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc paid official visit to Cambodia on April 24 & 25.

by Nguyen Quoc

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Cambodian counterpart Samdech Techo Hun Sen agreed on various measures to bolster the countries’ multi-faceted relations at talks in Phnom Penh on April 25, the Vietnam News Agency reports.

PM Hun Sen considers the Vietnamese leader’s official visit as having historical significance amid the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties, voicing his belief that the trip will provide strong momentum for their traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation to thrive.

He spoke highly of Vietnamese investors’ contributions to his country, noting that the military-run telecom group Viettel, the Vietnam Rubber Group, Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), and other Vietnamese businesses have run profitably and fully met their tax obligations.

Notably, Metfone-Viettel has paid $400 million in taxes over the last decade. They have also contributed to socioeconomic development and the care of local people’s material and spiritual lives, in particular low-income earners and rural residents, he added.

Talks between the two Prime Ministers. Photo: VGP

The two PMs agreed to continue promoting trade, services and cooperation between Vietnamese and Cambodian localities, particularly those located along the shared borderline. Locality-to-locality ties have proved fruitful, they said, in the spirit of friendship neighborliness and comprehensive cooperation.

They will order the joint committee for border demarcation and land border marker planting to step up negotiations, seek solutions regarding border sections not demarcated, and work closely in border management, thereby enhancing peace, stability, cooperation and sustainable development along the shared border.

They vowed to facilitate and seek effective measures to boost the partnership in potential areas such as trade and investment, banking, electricity, mining, oil and gas, industrial crops, transport, telecommunications, and education and training.

The two PMs also agreed that Vietnam and Cambodia will continue their close cooperation in security and defense. They reiterated the principle of not allowing any hostile forces to use the territory of their country to sabotage the other’s security and the two countries’ friendship and cooperation.

Both sides are set to enhance collaboration to fight terrorism, transnational crime, smuggling, drug crime, and human trafficking. They will also press ahead with the search for and repatriation of the remains of Vietnam’s volunteer soldiers who sacrificed their lives in wars in Cambodia.

At the meeting, they discussed stepping up connections within the framework of ASEAN and the Greater Mekong Sub-region. They also exchanged views on international issues of shared concern.

PM Phuc said he appreciated Cambodia’s provision of good conditions for Vietnamese expatriates, asking the country to take appropriate measures to soon recognize their legal status and Cambodian nationality. He also called on Cambodia to recognize schools managed by Vietnamese-Cambodians there as part of the country’s education system.

In response, PM Hun Sen promised to direct relevant agencies of Cambodia to provide favorable conditions for Vietnamese-Cambodians to be treated as equally as expatriates of other countries.

Following the meeting, the two PMs witnessed the signing of a number of cooperation documents.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport and Cambodia’s Ministry of Public Works and Transport signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in promoting the study of the construction of Ho Chi Minh City - Moc Bai and Phnom Penh - Ba Vet expressways. Another MoU on building a voluntary rehabilitation center for drug addicts in Preah Sihanouk province was inked between Vietnam’s Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs and Cambodia’s Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation.

The Directorate of Fisheries under Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Fisheries General Department under Cambodia’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries signed an official letter discussing the extension of the MoU on fishery cooperation for another three years.

Meanwhile, the administrations of Hanoi and Phnom Penh signed an MoU on assistance to the construction of a Phnom Penh - Hanoi friendship avenue.

PM Phuc and his wife arrived in Phnom Penh on April 24 to start their two-day official visit, his first official trip to Vietnam’s neighbor since to took up the post.

Soon after his arrival, he visited Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni.

At the meeting, PM Phuc lauded the socioeconomic achievements Cambodia has made under the King’s reign, particularly its increasing position in the region and in the world.

Highlighting the King’s significant contributions to consolidating the partnership between Vietnam and Cambodia, PM Phuc said he hopes for the King’s further support for bilateral ties.

Vietnam always attaches great importance to the traditional friendship and comprehensive partnership with Cambodia, he said, adding that it constantly remembers the King’s valuable assistance to Vietnam during its national construction and defense.

King Norodom Sihamoni said he admires the achievements Vietnam has obtained during its national development and recalled the late King Norodom Sihanouk’s recommendations on cementing relations with Vietnam.

He spoke highly of his guest’s visit, saying he believes it will contribute to further enhancing bilateral cooperation.

Vietnam and Cambodia set up diplomatic ties on June 24, 1967.

Vietnam currently has 190 investment projects with total registered capital of $2.89 billion in Cambodia, focusing on agriculture and forestry. Cambodian investment in Vietnam has also been on the rise, with 18 projects worth $58.125 million at present.

Bilateral trade exceeded $2.9 billion in 2016 and is estimated at $936 million in the first quarter of 2017, a year-on-year increase of 11.6 percent. The first quarter figure consists of $582 million of Vietnamese exports, up 8.9 per cent, and $354 million worth of Cambodian goods, up 16.2 per cent from a year earlier.

Some 960,000 Vietnamese people visited Cambodia and 212,000 Cambodians spent holidays in Vietnam last year. That made Vietnam the largest source of foreign tourists to Cambodia, which in turn ranks 13th in the number of arrivals to Vietnam.


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