Vietnam always attaches importance to promoting its Strengthened Strategic Partnership with Thailand, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc told Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha during their talks in Bangkok on November 16.
President Phuc congratulated Thailand on its recovery and strong, dynamic development after the COVID-19 pandemic and expressed his belief that Thailand will successfully carry out the 2018-2037 national development strategy and become a developed nation soon.
|President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (second from left ) his spouse (first, left) and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha (second from right) and his spouse__Photo: VNA|
Speaking highly of Thailand’s role as Chair of APEC Year 2022, he affirmed that Vietnam will do its best to contribute to the success of the upcoming APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting to be held in Bangkok.
PM Prayut emphasized the important significance of the President's visit to Thailand, the first by a senior Vietnamese leader after the COVID-19 pandemic and on the threshold of the 10th founding anniversary of the bilateral Strategic Partnership, saying that the trip created new momentum for the two countries to boost cooperation for mutual recovery and sustainable development. Vietnam is always an important partner of Thailand in the region, he said.
The two leaders spoke highly of the strong, dynamic development of the bilateral relations in all fields, with economic cooperation being a bright spot.
Last year, Thailand was Vietnam's biggest trading partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), with a record trade of USD 19 billion, up 18 percent from 2020. In the first ten months of this year, the figure rose by 16.9 percent from the same period in 2021 to USD 17.8 billion. Thailand ranked 9th out of 139 countries and territories investing in Vietnam with 670 projects worth USD 13 billion. The cooperation in national defense, security, culture, education, people-to-people exchanges and locality-to-locality cooperation has been expanded and developed. In the first half of this year, Vietnam welcomed 40,000 Thai tourists while Thailand served 130,000 Vietnamese visitors.
So far, 18 Vietnamese cities and provinces have signed cooperation and twinning agreements with Thai localities. The Vietnamese community in Thailand now groups about 100,000 people who have well integrated into the host society. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam donated medical supplies worth USD 50,000 to Thailand while Thailand offered 300,000 vaccine doses to Vietnam.
Both sides agreed to facilitate the exchange of visits at all levels, effectively maintain bilateral cooperation mechanisms, especially the Joint Cabinet Retreat mechanism co-chaired by the two Prime Ministers, effectively realize the Plan of Action for Implementing the Thailand-Vietnam Strengthened Strategic Partnership for the 2022-2027 period signed during this visit.
They pledged to soon raise two-way trade to USD 25-30 billion in a more balanced manner and strengthen connectivity in different spheres. They lauded the two central banks for their success in the QR code retail payment connectivity project that facilitates the two countries’ trade, investment and tourism.
The two sides agreed to encourage their enterprises to invest in each other's country. Accordingly, Vietnam called for Thai investments in green energy, automobiles, processed food, textiles and garment, electronics materials, chemicals and industrial park infrastructure.
President Phuc proposed Thailand restrict the application of trade safeguard measures and create favorable conditions for Vietnamese farm produce to access the Thai market. He encouraged Thai enterprises to expand investment and business in Vietnam, especially in new fields such as hi-tech, digital economy, e-commerce, green energy and infrastructure, toward using the local currency in bilateral payments.
The two leaders affirmed their commitment to further advance the Strengthened Strategic Partnership between Thailand and Viet Nam which will contribute to socio-economic resilience of both countries through the “Three Connects” strategy, namely connecting the two countries’ supply chains, connecting the two countries' grassroots economies and connecting sustainable growth strategies between Thailand’s Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economy Model and Vietnam’s Green Growth Strategy.
They vowed to step up cooperation between localities and people-to-people exchanges as well as exchanges between the Vietnam-Thailand and Thailand-Vietnam Friendship Associations, and step up the teaching of the Thai language in Vietnam and the Vietnamese language in Thailand.
President Phuc proposed the Thai Government and local administrations continue offering support to the Vietnamese community in Thailand as well as the preservation and upholding of values of Vietnamese cultural-historic sites in the neighboring country, especially three memorials dedicated to President Ho Chi Minh.
On regional and global issues of shared concern, the two leaders promised to work closely together to promote ASEAN’s unity and centrality; and build a Mekong sub-region of connectivity, peace and prosperity.
They agreed to maintain ASEAN’s common stance on the East Sea issue and underscored the importance of maintaining peace, stability, safety, security and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Following the talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of the Plan of Action on Implementing the Thailand – Viet Nam Strengthened Strategic Partnership 2022 – 2027; the Agreement on Mutual Judicial Assistance in Civil Matters between Thailand and Vietnam; the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Establishment of Sister City Relationship between and Thailand’s Khon Kaen province and Vietnam’s Da Nang city; the MoU between the Board of Trade of Thailand and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and the Bilateral Trade and Investment Facilitation Agreement between the Export-Import Bank of Thailand (EXIM Bank) and Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank).
They later met with the press to inform them about the results of the visit and issued a Joint Statement celebrating 10 years of the Vietnam - Thailand Strategic Partnership: Opening a New Chapter of Stronger Strategic Partnership for Peace, Stability and Mutual Prosperity.- (VNA/VLLF)