|Vietnamese Ambassador to Malaysia Trần Việt Thái. — Photo baoquocte.vn|
KUALA LUMPUR — The upcoming visit to Việt Nam by Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob is expected to open up opportunities to elevate the bilateral strategic partnership to a new level, Vietnamese Ambassador to Malaysia Trần Việt Thái told the Vietnam News Agency (VNA)’s correspondents in Kuala Lumpur.
According to the diplomat, the Việt Nam-Malaysia relationship has developed intensively and extensively in the past, especially since the two countries established their strategic partnership in August 2015.
In the field of politics-diplomacy, Vietnamese and Malaysian leaders have maintained the exchange of visits, he said, taking the latest trip to Việt Nam by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in 2019 as an example, which has helped to expand cooperation between the two countries.
For economic-trade ties, Thái said two-way trade reached US$13.9 billion last year, close to the target of $15 billion set by the countries. Given the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the impressive number showed strong cooperation between the two nations.
Việt Nam and Malaysia have also set up cooperation mechanisms, both bilateral and multilateral. Currently, the joint committee for economic, scientific and technological cooperation is operating fruitfully.
They have also announced an action programme for the strategic partnership during the 2021-25 period, the ambassador said.
People-to-people exchanges and educational collaboration have also made good progress, he continued, expressing his belief that the partnership will grow further in the future, especially after the visit.
Asked about PM Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s message through the visit, from March 20-21, Thái said this is the first trip to Việt Nam by the Malaysian leader since he took office in August 2021. It is intended to affirm the Malaysian government’s resolve to open doors, recover the national economy after the pandemic and boost all-round cooperation with Việt Nam and other countries.
According to the ambassador, Malaysia is scheduled to fully open its borders from April 1 after nearly two years of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He noted that many Malaysian businesses are interested in the Vietnamese market as they have seen investment opportunities in the Southeast Asian nation in economy and trade, as well as its recovery in other spheres.
Việt Nam’s agricultural and aquatic products have been exported to Malaysia, and Muslim markets in the Middle East and other regions in the world through Malaysia, Thái said.
The ambassador said the two countries have maintained regular cooperation and coordination within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and suggested them work harder to contribute to enhancing intra-bloc cooperation.
Given complex developments of the regional and international situation, Việt Nam and Malaysia should step up coordination, share information and understanding, and take joint actions in issues of mutual concern like the situation in Myanmar, the South China Sea (known in Việt Nam as the East Sea) issue, the Russia-Ukraine conflict and COVID-19 prevention and control, while supporting each other at international and regional forums such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and the United Nations (UN), he suggested.
The Vietnamese diplomat emphasised that there is still ample space for Việt Nam and Malaysia to foster cooperation in order to enhance their bilateral ties and promote ASEAN’s centrality, position and image in the international arena. — VNS