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Vietnam & Myanmar to establish comprehensive cooperative partnership

Released at: 10:46, 25/08/2017

Vietnam & Myanmar to establish comprehensive cooperative partnership

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong (L) and President of Myanmar Htin Kyaw (Source: VNA)

Two sides propose promoting existing development momentum and actively supporting each other in trade and investment promotion activities, during Party Chief Nguyen Phu Trong's visit to Myanmar from August 24 to 26.

by Nguyen Quoc

During talks in Naypyidaw on August 24, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and Myanmar President Htin Kyaw reached agreement on establishing a comprehensive cooperative partnership between the two countries.

Party General Secretary Trong is paying a State visit to Myanmar from August 24 to 26 at the invitation of President Htin Kyaw.

According to the Vietnam News Agency, the two leaders expressed their delight at seeing ties grow in a diverse range of fields, especially since former Party General Secretary Do Muoi’s visit in 1997.

Both sides agreed on major orientations in lifting bilateral ties to greater heights by intensifying political links at all levels, especially at the highest level, while continuing to strengthen bilateral relations at the Party, government, National Assembly, sector and local levels.

Regarding economic cooperation, the two sides proposed promoting the existing development momentum and actively supporting each other in hosting trade and investment promotion activities to bolster trade.

They suggested focusing on cooperation in banking, finance, aviation, telecommunications, and other fields such as mining, agriculture, forestry, and fisheries, tourism, and consumer products.

It is also necessary to increase exchanges and share experience in economic management and institutional reform.

The two agreed to enhance air, land, and sea connectivity through stronger cooperation in seaport construction, maritime and aviation transport, and shipbuilding, and will consider the establishment of an aviation joint venture and the development of roads connecting the two countries and within the cooperation framework of ASEAN, the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), and Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam (CLMV).

The transport of passengers and goods along economic corridors would help promote trade, investment, and tourism exchanges between Vietnam and Myanmar in particular and in the region as a whole.

Party Chief Trong took the occasion to thank President Htin Kyaw and the Myanmar Government for creating favorable conditions for Vietnamese businesses to conduct investment and hoped the country would provide further support for them to do more for the host country’s development.

President Htin Kyaw welcomed Vietnamese companies to step up their investment in Myanmar for mutual benefit and highly valued Vietnam’s investment of $500 million in tourism.

Vietnam has become Myanmar’s ninth-largest trade partner and seventh-largest foreign investor.

The two leaders also discussed regional and international issues of mutual concern and affirmed that Vietnam and Myanmar have shared a lot of benefits and similar views on regional and global security matters over the last few years. They have also actively coordinated and supported each other at sub-regional, regional, and global forums.

They agreed to push ahead with exchanges of information and viewpoints in organizations such as the GMS, the East-West Economic Corridor (EWEC), and the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS), to intensify cooperation in effectively and sustainably using water resources from the Mekong River for the common development and prosperity of the region and each country.

President Htin Kyaw affirmed Myanmar’s support of Vietnam’s bid for a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council in the 2020-2021 tenure.

As regards the East Sea issue, the two leaders shared the same opinion: that any disputes should be settled through peaceful measures and in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

They called on the parties involved to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and soon reach a Code of Conduct in the East Sea to maintain regional peace, stability, security, and cooperation.

Party General Secretary Trong and President Htin Kyaw emphasized that Vietnam and Myanmar need to promote their profile and strengthen coordination with other ASEAN member nations to maintain internal solidarity and unity as well as promote the central role of ASEAN in the regional architecture, realize the ASEAN Community’s targets, and contribute to peace and stability in the region.

After their talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of cooperation documents between the two countries, including a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in trade between the Ministries of Industry and Trade, a cultural cooperation program in 2017-2020 between the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Myanmar’s Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture, an agreement on cooperation and mutual support in customs between the Ministry of Finance and Myanmar’s Ministry of Planning and Finance, and an agreement on education cooperation and diploma recognition between the two countries.

Vietnam and Myanmar established diplomatic ties four decades ago. Trade between the two hit $536 million last year, exceeding targets.

Two-way trade rose 48 per cent to $250.2 million in the first four months of this year, with Vietnam enjoying a trade surplus of $133.3 million. Vietnamese exports totaled $191.7 million in the period, up 29 per cent year-on-year, while imports from Myanmar almost tripled, to $58.5 million.

Means of transport and spare parts accounted for the largest proportion of Vietnam’s exports to Myanmar, at 11.9 per cent, followed by steel, machinery, plastics products, and metals.

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