President Tô Lâm's state visit: Deepening Việt Nam-Cambodia cooperation

July 11, 2024 - 14:54
At the invitation of the King of Cambodia, President Tô Lâm, is on a State visit to the Kingdom of Cambodia. Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia, Nguyễn Huy Tăng, talks to Voice of Vietnam (VOV) about what will be on the agenda.
Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia, Nguyễn Huy Tăng. — VNA/VNS Photo

At the invitation of the King of Cambodia, Preah Bat Samdech Preah Boromneath Norodom Sihamoni, President of the Socialist Republic of Việt Nam, Tô Lâm, is on a State visit to the Kingdom of Cambodia. Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia, Nguyễn Huy Tăng, talks to Voice of Vietnam (VOV) about the visit.

Could you elaborate on the significance of President Tô Lâm's official visit to the Kingdom of Cambodia for Việt Nam-Cambodia relations?

President Tô Lâm's State visit to the Kingdom of Cambodia takes place as the two countries celebrate the 57th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations (24 June 1967 - 24 June 2024), marked by a series of activities that highlight the deep friendship between our neighbouring nations.

Additionally, President Tô Lâm's visit comes shortly after he assumed office. This reaffirms the consistent policy and stance of the Party and the State of Việt Nam, which always places great importance on strengthening, consolidating and developing relations with neighbouring countries, including the Kingdom of Cambodia.

In recent times, direct meetings and exchanges between the leaders of the two countries have resulted in numerous strategic agreements, guiding the overall relations between the two nations, thereby continuously developing the bilateral relationship.

In this spirit, I believe that President Tô Lâm's visit to the Kingdom of Cambodia is extremely significant and profound. This will be a milestone to further strengthen, nurture, and deepen the relationship between Việt Nam and Cambodia, following the motto of good neighbourliness, traditional friendship, comprehensive cooperation, sustainable and long-term development, ensuring the maintenance and strengthening of solidarity and friendship between Việt Nam and Cambodia for eternity.

Could you outline the main points on the agenda of President Tô Lâm's visit to Cambodia?

During the two-day visit, President Tô Lâm will engage in several key activities, including meetings with King Preah Bat Samdech Preah Boromneath Norodom Sihamoni, Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, Senate President Samdech Techo Hun Sen, National Assembly President Samdech Khuon Sodary, and Prime Minister Samdech Hun Manet.

Through these meetings, the leaders of the two countries will deeply discuss bilateral relations, evaluate the friendship over time, and devise measures to further deepen the relationship between the two countries in the future.

In addition, President Tô Lâm will participate in notable activities such as meeting with Cambodian alums who studied in Việt Nam and engaging with students at the Royal University of Phnom Penh. These activities will contribute to spreading friendship and strengthening the relations between the peoples of both countries.

How do you assess the current and future state of the friendly and comprehensive cooperation between Việt Nam and Cambodia?

The Việt Nam-Cambodia relationship has achieved significant milestones in various fields in recent years, closely tied to the important events of both nations. Alongside maintaining and promoting good political relations as the foundation and core to guide the overall relations between the two countries.

In the field of defence and security, our cooperation has deepened and become a crucial pillar in our bilateral relations. Both sides have effectively implemented agreements and cooperation plans between Việt Nam's Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Public Security with Cambodia's Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Interior.

Through this cooperation, both sides regularly exchange information and share experiences to coordinate efforts to prevent and neutralise hostile forces' schemes against both countries and our bilateral relations.

Our foreign relations cooperation has also been strengthened, with close coordination in regional and international forums. The cooperation in defence and foreign relations has significantly contributed to maintaining a peaceful and stable environment for the development of both countries.

In the economic field, recent times have seen positive changes in our economic cooperation. Việt Nam has 208 ongoing projects in Cambodia, with an investment capital of nearly US$3 billion. Additionally, Cambodia has 35 projects in Việt Nam with a total registered capital of US$75.76 million.

In recent years, bilateral trade turnover has made remarkable progress. In 2020, our bilateral trade reached US$5.32 billion, in 2021 it reached $9.53 billion and in 2022, it saw a breakthrough, reaching $10.5 billion. Despite the global economic downturn, our trade turnover in 2023 remained high at $8.57 billion and in the first five months of 2024, it reached $4.6 billion.

We are hopeful that in 2024, our bilateral trade turnover will return to the US$10 billion mark or higher, contributing to the goal recently agreed upon by the two Prime Ministers during Prime Minister Hun Manet's visit to Việt Nam, aiming to increase bilateral trade turnover to US$20 billion in the near future.

In education, training, culture, science and technology and health, our cooperation has seen substantial progress. Both sides place great importance on education and training, considering it a strategic factor in maintaining and strengthening the friendship between our peoples.

Cooperation between ministries, sectors, National Assemblies, mass organisations and people’s organisations of both countries has deepened. Border provinces have closely cooperated, especially in economics, infrastructure development, healthcare services for border residents and joint efforts to combat cross-border crimes, ensuring security and safety for our coastal areas.

Looking ahead, I believe there are ample opportunities to further develop the relationship between our countries, particularly in economics. Besides traditional areas of cooperation, the Cambodian government has introduced new policies to create a conducive environment for economic development, presenting great opportunities for foreign businesses, including Vietnamese enterprises, to invest into the Cambodian market.

In addition to traditional fields, we can enhance cooperation in new areas such as green technology, export-oriented processing industries and high technology. These are areas of great interest to Cambodia and areas in which Việt Nam is keen to develop to keep pace with regional and global trends.

Furthermore, both sides should continue to leverage their roles in multilateral mechanisms that Việt Nam and Cambodia participate in, to explore cooperative opportunities with partners to boost economic development. Additionally, we should explore and identify other potential fields where both sides have strengths, to complement each other, making economic cooperation more profound and effective, becoming a new driving force for our bilateral relations.

I believe that with the dynamism and creativity of our businesses and investors, our economic cooperation will expand and become increasingly effective, achieving the common goals set by both countries: becoming high-middle-income countries by 2030, and high-income countries by 2045 for Việt Nam and by 2050 for Cambodia. VNS