Malaysia, Việt Nam to engage more closely to achieve greater success: Malaysian foreign minister

March 31, 2023 - 08:19
Malaysian Minister of Foreign Affairs Zambry Abdul Kadir said Việt Nam has emerged as one of Malaysia’s closest partners, economically and socially.
Malaysian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir (left) during the interview with the Vietnam News Agency. — VNA/VNS Photo Mạnh Tuân

KUALA LAMPUR — Malaysian Minister of Foreign Affairs Zambry Abdul Kadir has expressed his satisfaction that the future of Malaysia-Việt Nam relations looks very promising and that both countries will continue to engage even more closely for greater success.

In an interview with the Vietnam News Agency on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic relationship (March 30, 1973-2023), he described the deepening of bilateral relations over the past 50 years as remarkable and outstanding, saying through the years, Việt Nam has emerged as one of Malaysia’s closest partners, economically and socially, and that the strength of the ties was reflected by the elevation of bilateral relations to a strategic partnership in 2015.

Numerous activities have been undertaken under the ambit of the strategic partnership, which is guided by the Plan of Action (POA).

The first POA 2017-19 was successfully implemented, resulting in robust and mutually-beneficial cooperation across various sectors.

The latest POA 2021-25 involves new cooperation, notably in the economic and public health perspectives of post-pandemic recovery efforts.

“Based on the inputs that I received, the POA 2021-25 is progressing very well,” he said.

“As we are embarking on a significant milestone this year with the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, I am confident that this historic moment will further strengthen our bilateral ties.”

He said Malaysia highly values its relations with Việt Nam. It is committed to cultivating close friendship and bilateral relations with Việt Nam and to further expanding cooperation in emerging areas of mutual interests between the two countries.

Malaysia is impressed by Việt Nam’s strong economic performance over the past decade, Kadir noted, adding that he believes the two countries should strengthen the economic partnership by encouraging more trade and investment flows.

In this regard, Malaysia stands ready to explore opportunities to improve market access for leading exports of both countries.

He said his country is pleased that bilateral cooperation in defence and security is advancing well.

Malaysia looks forward to the renewal of the countries’ memorandum of understanding on defence cooperation which expired in 2018, as the new document will enable a more focused and structured framework between the two defence establishments, the foreign minister noted.

Under the overarching framework for strategic partnership, the two sides have witnessed a strong and substantive development in bilateral cooperation across multiple facets.

According to the official, Malaysia envisions that the framework will continue to be the pillar that guides cooperation between the two countries in the forthcoming years.

Regarding the most effective areas of cooperation, he perceived that deepening relations at all levels, including between leaders, businesses, and people-to-people, is the most effective, which is imperative as both countries embark on further efforts to improve economic gains and political cohesion for mutual benefits.

“Malaysia is pleased with the excellent bilateral relations with Việt Nam," Kadir noted. "Our longstanding ties have gone stronger over the years. We are fully committed to strengthening the Strategic Partnership in pursuit of social-economic development in both countries.”

In the interview, he also highlighted the over 40 years of cooperation in news exchange between the Malaysian National News Agency (BERNAMA) and the Vietnam News Agency (VNA).

The two agencies signed the first deal on news sharing on December 8, 1982. VNA has correspondents in Kuala Lumpur, while BERNAMA had correspondents in Hà Nội from 1994-98.

Through the news provided by BERNAMA and the VNA, peoples of both countries today are more aware of each other’s demography, language, cultural elements, food, customs, and tourism and that they are most welcomed in each other’s country.

The Foreign Minister added that both BERNAMA and the VNA had played a constructive role in fostering better understanding between the peoples of Malaysia and Việt Nam. — VNS