Việt Nam, Thailand agree to step up bilateral cooperation mechanisms

April 11, 2024 - 21:35
Both sides affirmed the Việt Nam-Thailand enhanced strategic partnership has been growing more practically, intensively and extensively, based on mutual respect, trust, and shared benefits.
The 5th Meeting of the Việt Nam-Thailand Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation in Bangkok on Thursday. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Tiến

BANGKOK — Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn and Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara co-chaired the 5th Meeting of the Việt Nam-Thailand Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) in Bangkok on Thursday, as part of the former’s official visit to Thailand from April 10-12.

The meeting undertook a comprehensive review of the bilateral cooperation over the past time, set forth directions to deepen collaboration in all spheres and discussed preparations for the upcoming official visit to Việt Nam by the Thai Prime Minister as guest of PM Pham Minh Chinh, during which the two PM will co-chair the 4th joint cabinet meeting.

Both sides affirmed the Việt Nam-Thailand enhanced strategic partnership has been growing more practically, intensively and extensively, based on mutual respect, trust, and shared benefits.

Thailand remains Việt Nam's largest trading partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and ranks 9th among foreign investors in the country. Bilateral trade has surpassed the US$20 billion mark since 2022.

Collaboration in key areas such as defence, security, education, culture, tourism, finance, and people-to-people exchanges has continued to flourish, with the two nations having 19 pairs of twinned localities, the highest number in the region.

Sơn reaffirmed Việt Nam's consistent policy on highly valuing and wishing to further strengthen its strategic partnership with Thailand in all fields.

Meanwhile, Parnpree emphasised that Việt Nam is a leading important partner of Thailand in the region and expressed his hope to elevate the relationship to a new height.

The two officials agreed to promote high-level and all-level exchanges and bilateral cooperation mechanisms, to review and implement signed agreements, including the action plan for the Việt Nam-Thailand enhanced strategic partnership for 2022-2027.

They concurred on establishing and conducting regular and periodic meetings between the two foreign ministers to exchange views on emerging issues and advance the implementation of high-level agreements.

It is necessary to encourage Vietnamese and Thai businesses to expand business and investment, as well as facilitating market access for the two nations' goods by limiting trade defence measures toward pushing the bilateral trade turnover to $25 billion soon and in a more balanced way, they said.

They consented to explore cooperative opportunities in digital transformation, digital economy, digital society, and e-government. They also noted their intention to enhance the two countries’ collaboration in green economy, circular economy, innovative ecosystem development, and connectivity of innovation startup networks.

The Vietnamese FM suggested that Thai retail groups continue introducing Vietnamese goods to consumers via their distribution networks in Thailand and the Thai side to expedite the risk assessment, licensing, and market opening processes for several types of fresh fruits from Việt Nam.

Sơn proposed that both governments establish a task force to devise plans for implementing potential cooperation areas within the "three connectivity" strategy, particularly specific projects on supply chains, just energy transition, development of an electric vehicle ecosystem, and high-tech agriculture.

The two sides agreed on the importance of enhancing understanding and connection between their people, especially the youth, through cultural, sports, tourism, and educational exchanges.

It is also necessary to promote the teaching of Thai in Việt Nam and Vietnamese in Thailand and the expansion of exchanges between legislators of the two countries, among others.

The two officials also discussed regional and international issues of mutual concern, affirming their support for Laos's successful assumption of ASEAN chairmanship in 2024.

They committed to accelerating the implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision to 2045, strengthening the bloc’s solidarity and centrality in addressing regional issues and promoting the implementation of the five-point consensus on Myanmar.

Both sides agreed to coordinate with other ASEAN member states in maintaining the bloc's principled stance on the East Sea (known internationally as the South China Sea) issue, ensuring peace, stability, security, cooperation, and development in the region, resolving disputes peacefully based on international law and the United Nations Charter, and respecting the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Concluding the meeting, the two ministers passed its minutes, pledging concerted efforts to effectively carry out all areas of cooperation. — VNS