Việt Nam to foster comprehensive cooperation with Cambodia: Ambassador

June 24, 2024 - 07:02
Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia Nguyễn Huy Tăng talks about the relations between Việt Nam and Cambodia on the occasion of the 57th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations
Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia Nguyễn Huy Tăng. Photo courtesy of Vietnamese Embassy in Cambodia

Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia Nguyễn Huy Tăng talks about the mutual relationship between Việt Nam and Cambodia on the occasion of the 57th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations.

How do you assess the relations between Cambodia and Việt Nam over recent years?

Since Việt Nam and Cambodia established diplomatic relations (on June 24, 1967) it can be proudly affirmed that their relations have been forged, overcoming many challenges, and are now developing increasingly deeply, practically and effectively, with outstanding achievements across the following areas:

- The political-diplomatic relationship has been continuously developing, playing a key role in guiding and coordinating the overall relationship between the two countries. High-level leadership meetings and exchanges between the two countries have taken place regularly in various forms, through which many strategic agreements and orientations for overall cooperation have been reached, while difficulties and obstacles to promoting comprehensive cooperation in all fields have also been promptly addressed.

The two sides always highly appreciate the mutual assistance in the past, as well as the present, affirming respect for and full implementation of the signed agreements and treaties, and a desire and determination to build everlasting solidarity and friendship.

The Vietnamese leadership has affirmed: 'The destiny of the two peoples cannot be separated, this is a truth from historical reality'.

After forming his government, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet chose Việt Nam as the second country, the first ASEAN country, to make an official visit to, demonstrating the importance placed on our friendly neighbourly cooperation.

The two sides have also frequently coordinated closely in foreign affairs activities, conducting political consultations, sharing timely information and supporting each other at international and regional forums.

- Defence and security cooperation is an important pillar in the bilateral relationship and is deepening and becoming ever more effective. The two sides coordinate in order to maintain political stability, to protect national defence and security and support development in each country and continue to effectively implement the five-year cooperation protocol, as well as the annual cooperation plan between the Ministry of National Defence of Việt Nam with the Ministry of National Defence of Cambodia and the Ministry of Public Security of Việt Nam and the Ministry of Interior of Cambodia.

The two sides regularly exchange information, share experiences, prevent activities of hostile forces, strengthen coordination in joint patrols, maintain security, order, rescue and relief efforts in all border areas, on land and at sea, build, strengthen and manage the border, security belts and maintain peace, stability and safeguard national sovereignty, order and safety in the border areas. They also continue to search for, recover and repatriate the remains of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and experts who were sacrificed in Cambodia and renovate the Việt Nam-Cambodia Friendship Monuments.

It can be said that security and defence cooperation, along with foreign affairs, have contributed to maintaining a peaceful, secure and stable environment for the development of each country, contributing to maintaining peace, stability and cooperative development both regionally and globally.

- Economic, trade, investment and science-technology cooperation has also seen positive developments. The two sides have proactively implemented the agreements and the understandings reached at the meetings of the Joint Committee on Economic, Cultural and Science-Technology Cooperation and the Conference on Cooperation and Development of Border Provinces, they have strengthened guidance, inspection and timely exchange of information to resolve difficulties and bottlenecks in order to promote cooperation.

- Education, training and human resource development are fields that the two sides pay special attention to, considering them as strategically important factors that actively contribute to consolidating and strengthening long-term friendly relations. Every year, Việt Nam grants hundreds of short and longer term scholarships to Cambodian students and Cambodia also provides 35 scholarships to Vietnamese students.

- The relations between the various ministries, departments, the National Assemblies and organisations have continued to be strengthened and become more substantive. The two sides have exchanged delegations, shared experiences and supported each other, the local authorities with common border areas have continued to expand the construction of infrastructure, provide healthcare, train and develop human resources and ensure security, order and safety in the border areas.

What do you think about the prospect for the development of the economic, trade, and investment cooperation between Việt Nam and Cambodia?

Both Việt Nam and Cambodia are making efforts to recover and develop a sustainable economy. Cambodia’s GDP growth is forecast to reach about six per cent and Việt Nam’s around five per cent this year, placing them among the countries with the highest GDP growth in the ASEAN region.

I believe that the Việt Nam-Cambodia relationship is developing well across all fields, with enhanced political trust between the two countries. The leaders of the two countries clearly see the significance and importance of economic cooperation and are determined to continuously improve the quality and effectiveness of cooperation in this field.

During the visit of Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Thipadey Hun Manet to Việt Nam in December 2023, the two sides agreed to work to bring the bilateral trade volume between the two countries to US$20 billion as soon as possible.

In terms of investment, Việt Nam is currently the largest investor in ASEAN and is among the top 10 countries and territories with the largest direct investment in Cambodia, with 208 effective projects and a total registered capital of $2.91 billion.

The governments of the two countries have signed a series of agreements and MOUs such as the Border Trade Agreement (11/2022), an Agreement to Promote Bilateral Trade for the 2023-2024 period, an MOU on Tourism Cooperation (2023-2028), a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement and Cambodia’s issuance of a new Investment Law Implementing Regulation (26/6/2023). These will provide a favourable foundation to promote economic cooperation.

What are recommendations for future cooperation between Việt Nam and Cambodia?

In addition to the political-diplomatic, national defence-security and other cooperation areas, the two sides still have room and many opportunities to expand potential complementary fields. With the determined policy of comprehensive and robust reform by the 7th term Cambodian government, it will open up favourable conditions and investment opportunities.

To realise the commitments of the senior leaders of the two countries on economic, trade and investment, both Việt Nam and Cambodia need to continue to effectively implement the agreements, MoUs and other understandings signed between the two countries on economic matters. To effectively implement the decisions and commitments of the senior leaders of the two countries, the results of the Joint Committee meetings and the Border Province Cooperation Conferences, further exploit the potential for cooperation between the border provinces, increase border trade and promote tourism.

The two sides also need to continue to promote the connectivity of road infrastructure such as the Phnom Penh - Bavet expressway connecting to Mộc Bài - HCM City and air transport connectivity by encouraging Vietnamese and Cambodian airlines to open flights to tourist destinations in the two countries such as Vân Đồn, Phú Quốc, Nha Trang, Siem Reap and Preah Sihanouk, as well as rail connectivity.

In addition, they should quickly establish a 'Việt Nam-Laos-Cambodia Tourism Cooperation Mechanism', diversify tourism forms and cooperate in the fields of green and clean science and technology, export processing industry, high technology and medical cooperation.

The two sides also need to pay attention to education, especially for the younger generations, about the fine traditional relationship between the two nations.

This will ensure that they clearly see the position and importance of the relationship between the two countries, thereby raising their sense of responsibility in preserving and nurturing the relationship of 'Good neighbours, traditional friendship, comprehensive cooperation, and long-term sustainability' between Việt Nam and Cambodia, so that this relationship will continue to blossom and bear fruit for the happiness of the people of the two countries and the longevity of the two nations. VNS