|President Truong Tan Sang meets Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Thanasak Patimapragorn at the Presidential Palace. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Khang
HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam treasures its growing relationship with Thailand and believes it will thrive in the coming years, President Truong Tan Sang said yesterday.
Hosting a reception for Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Thanasak Patimapragorn in Ha Noi, he lauded results obtained at the meeting of the Joint Committee on bilateral co-operation.
He thanked Thailand for being attentive to the needs of the Vietnamese community in Thailand, and said he hoped a bilateral labour agreement would be signed soon.
Noting that the economic partnership between the two countries was developing strongly with many Thai big players investing in Viet Nam, he expressed his confidence that the Viet Nam-Thailand strategic partnership would continue to flourish.
He also praised Thailand's role in the ASEAN community, and called on the kingdom to take practical actions with other members for building a prosperous ASEAN that fosters unity in diversity.
Thanasak Patimapragorn said that the Joint Committee meeting reviewed bilateral co-operation in all fields and set orientations for future growth.
Both sides were determined to sign a labour agreement soon, he said.
The two countries would work together to organise activities in 2016, marking the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties.
Thailand, as the co-ordinator of ASEAN-China relations, would work to speed up substantive consultations for a Code of Conduct in the East Sea, Patimapragorn pledged.
He also said that Thailand would work with other ASEAN members to maintain the regional bloc's central and leading role in settling strategic matters in the region.
$15b trade target
In its second meeting held in Ha Noi yesterday, the Viet Nam-Thailand Joint Committee on Bilateral Co-operation agreed to raise two-way trade to US$15 billion in 2020.
During the meeting, co-chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and his Thai counterpart, both sides also pledged to enhance their investment partnership by working closely on implementing large-scale Thai projects in Viet Nam.
It is expected that Thai investment in Viet Nam will increase five-fold over the current level in the coming years.
The joint committee agreed to propose organising its third meeting during Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung's visit to Thailand, slated for the first half of this year.
It will also urge that the second ministerial meeting of the Joint Committee on Trade as well as the seventh meeting of the political-security joint working group are held in Thailand soon.
Negotiations will be speeded up on an extradition pact.
Both sides will discuss the opening of a cross-border bus route between Viet Nam and Thailand and promote coastal marine transport collaboration between Thailand, Cambodia and Viet Nam and strive to reach related agreements by June this year.
Viet Nam and Thailand will work together on a memorandum of understanding on labour co-operation and recruitment, creating favourable conditions for Vietnamese citizens to work in Thailand.
Agro-forestry and fisheries co-operation will be enhanced and both sides will adopt a humanitarian approach in the spirit of friendship while dealing with issues related to fishermen and fishing vessels.
"High consensus" was reached on co-operation in other fields like culture, tourism, education-training, science and technology, and environmental protection.
Both sides will closely with each other and with other ASEAN members to form the ASEAN Community this year.
On East Sea issues, the two countries agreed to promote the settling of disputes through peaceful measures in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. They also highlighted the need for full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea.
The two sides will also support each other in their bids for non-permanent seats in the UN Security Council, with Thailand and Viet Nam running for the 2017-2018 and 2020-2021 tenures respectively.
Thailand will also back Viet Nam's candidacy for the UN Economic and Society Council in the 2016-2018 tenure.
The two countries will strengthen sharing of information and experiences in planning and managing water resources, especially the Mekong River, and enhance co-ordination in other mechanisms, including the Mekong River Commission.
Following the meeting, the two Deputy PMs signed an agreement between the two foreign ministries and agreed to hold the next meeting of the joint committee in Thailand next March.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Thanasak Patimapragorn is making an official visit to Viet Nam at the invitation of his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Binh Minh.
Two-way trade between Viet Nam and Thailand reached $10.6 billion last year, a year-on-year increase of 12.5 per cent.
With 374 projects worth $6.69 billion, Thailand ranks 10th among 101 countries and territories investing in Viet Nam. — VNS