|Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (left) reviews a guard of honour with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak at the Presidential Palace yesterday in Ha Noi. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
HA NOI (VNS) — Vietnamese and Malaysian leaders have vowed to raise their trade turnover to US$11 billion by 2015 by encouraging and facilitating businesses to enhance mutual trade and investment.
The pledge was made by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his visiting Malaysian counterpart, Najib Tun Razak, during their talks held in Ha Noi yesterday.
In 2013, the two countries enjoyed a 67 per cent year-on-year increase in trade. Malaysia ranks eighth among foreign investors in Viet Nam, with 451 projects and over $10 billion in registered capital.
The two leaders were pleased with the status of rice trading noted in the recent years. As of now, 60 per cent of Malaysian rice imports come from Viet Nam.
They agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on rice trading soon, while accelerating cooperation in other fields such as labour, agriculture, oil and gas, education, and law.
The Vietnamese leader hailed Malaysia as one of Viet Nam's leading partners in terms of labour, as over 80,000 Vietnamese workers are working in the country.
They agreed to assign relevant agencies to revise the 2003 MoU on the recruitment of Vietnamese workers to reduce labour disputes and ensure that the legitimate rights of the workers are protected.
During their talks, Dung took the opportunity to re-convey his deepest condolences to PM Najib, the Malaysian government, people and, most importantly, the families of passengers who were onboard the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
For his part, Najib expressed sincere gratitude and appreciation for Viet Nam's efforts in searching for the missing plane.
At the talks, the two leaders lauded the defence and security ties between Viet Nam and Malaysia and agreed to accelerate the signing of documents establishing joint patrols, a hotline between their navies, and an MoU on co-operation in transnational crime fighting.
The Malaysian leader avowed that his country would soon take a decision on the Vietnamese fishermen being detained in Malaysia.
The leaders agreed on holding the fifth session of the Viet Nam-Malaysia Joint Committee on economics and science and technology in Malaysia to realise the signing of the agreements.
In addition, they discussed international and regional issues of common concern, pledging to continue close collaboration at forums, as well as cooperation with other ASEAN countries for building a strong and united ASEAN Community by 2015 and a vision beyond 2015.
Regarding the East Sea, the leaders stressed the importance of maintaining peace, stability, freedom, security, and safety of navigation and aviation in the East Sea.
They emphasised that they supported ASEAN's stance manifested in the organisation's six-principle declaration on the East Sea, settling disputes through peaceful means, respecting international law, particularly the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, fully and strictly implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and looking toward the early conclusion of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
They also pledged further partnership to promote the organisation's central role in issues on regional peace and security, including the East Sea issue.
With regard to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, they vowed to closely work and support each other to speed up the finalisation of negotiations.
The two PMs agreed to collaborate in order to take bilateral relations to greater heights - a Strategic Partnership for the benefit of their people, and to achieve peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the Asia-Pacific region and the world.
The two sides affirmed that they would assign their foreign ministries in collaboration with other relevant ministries to discuss the detailed content of the strategic partnership to submit to the government leaders in the coming time.
Najib invited Dung to visit Malaysia, and the later gladly accepted the invitation and assigned the Foreign Ministry the task of arranging an appropriate time for the visit.
They witnessed the signing of an MoU on agricultural co-operation between the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Malaysian Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry.
Also yesterday, the visiting Malaysian PM met with General Secretary of the Communist Party of Viet Nam (CPV) Nguyen Phu Trong and President Truong Tan Sang.
Receiving the Malaysian PM, Party leader Trong remarked that the two countries should strengthen their allround cooperation.
He stressed that Viet Nam and Malaysia should focus on fostering partnership in promising areas of trade, investment, agriculture, labour, education, culture, tourism, and people-to-people contact, as well as in the ASEAN framework and regional and international forums.
Viet Nam always welcomed Malaysian businesses and would create conducive conditions for them to invest in the country, he noted.
The Party leader proposed that CPV and United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) Party, which was headed by Najib, continue to strengthen their ties by increasing the number of high-level meetings, delegation exchanges, and sharing of experiences in party building.
At another reception, President Sang expressed his condolences to the Malaysian government and families of the passengers on the missing Malaysian Flight MH370, saying he was hopeful that Malaysia secures the necessary answers to initiate the healing process.
He welcomed the agreements reached between PM Najib and his Vietnamese counterpart.
He agreed in principle with the Malaysian PM's proposal to establish a bilateral strategic partnership, emphasising that ensuring solidarity in the ASEAN Community must be a critical component of any agreement.
To achieve the target, Viet Nam should enhance cooperation with Malaysia, particularly in the exchange of high-ranking delegations, to reach a common consensus quickly, Sang pointed out.
In addition, co-ordination in security, defence, energy, oil and gas, and fisheries should be promoted, thereby helping to remove obstacles for better realising outstanding commitments, he added.
According to the President, Najib's current visit will start a new chapter in the relationship between the two sides. He suggested that the two sides discuss a method of coordinating on issues of the East Sea and Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Viet Nam and Malaysia issued a joint statement on the occasion of Prime Minister Najib Tun Abdul Razak's visit to Viet Nam, reaffirming the commitment to intensify the comprehensive partnership in all areas toward the establishment of a strategic partnership.
Both sides agreed to intensify defence and security co-operation, including the proposal to establish a Joint Committee on bilateral defence relations, which is in line with the Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Defence Cooperation signed in August 2008.
Prime Minister Dung reiterated Viet Nam's commitment to do its best to co-ordinate with and support Malaysia's ASEAN Chairmanship in 2015.
The two leaders exchanged views on the recent developments in the East Sea and reaffirmed the importance of upholding ASEAN's unity and centrality in maintaining peace, stability, maritime security, and freedom of navigation in and over flight above the East Sea. — VNS