HÀ NỘI – Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc and a high-ranking delegation paid an official visit to Thailand from August 17-19 at the invitation of Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha. During the visit, the two sides issued a joint statement. Following is the full text of the joint statement:
1. His Excellency Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, and his wife paid an official visit to Thailand from August 17-19, 2017 at the invitation of His Excellency General (Ret.) Prayut Chan-ocha, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand.
2. Prime Minister Phuc’s delegation included His Excellency Mai Tien Dung, Minister – Chairman of the Government Office; His Excellency Mr. Tran Tuan Anh, Minister of Industry and Trade; His Excellency Mr. Chu Ngoc Anh, Minister of Science and Technology; His Excellency Mr. Nguyen Xuan Cuong, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development; His Excellency Mr. Truong Minh Tuan, Minister of Information and Communications, His Excellency Mr. Le Minh Hung, Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam, as well as other distinguished representatives from various ministries and agencies.
3. During the visit, Prime Minister Phuc was accorded a ceremonial welcome and had a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Prayut, who hosted dinner in Prime Minister Phuc’s honour. Prime Minister Phuc paid courtesy calls on President of Legislative Committee; President of Privy Council General Prem Tinsulanonda and met with Chairman of Thailand – Vietnam Friendship Association, Mr. Prachuab Chaiyasan; CEO of leading Thai companies, and attended the opening ceremony of the “Vietnamese Week in Thailand” exhibition, held to promote Vietnamese products in Thailand. In Nakhorn Phanom, Prime Minister Phuc and his delegation visited President Ho Chi Minh’s Memorial Site, met with Vietnamese communities and attended the Meeting on Economic Connectivity, held to strengthen the investment and connectivity in Northeastern of Thailand.
4. The two Prime Ministers witnessed the signing of the following Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) and agreements: (i) Agreement between the Government of the Kingdom of Thailand and the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam on Cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation; (ii) MOU between the Ministry of Commerce of Thailand and the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam on Economic and Trade Cooperation; (iii) MOU between the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society of the Kingdom of Thailand and the Ministry of Information and Communications of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam on Cooperation in the Field of Posts, Telecommunications, Information and Digital Technology; (iv) MOU on Cooperation between the State Bank of Vietnam and the Bank of Thailand; (v) MOU on the Establishment of Sister Cities between the Province of Trat and the People’s Committee of Ca Mau Province; (vi) Agreement on Legal Fees between the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam and EGAT International Company Limited; (vii) MOU between Vietnam Oil and Gas Group and the Siam Cement Public Company Limited; (viii) MOU between PetroVietnam Ca Mau Fertilizer JSC, PetroVietnam Fertilizer and Chemicals Corporation, Binh Son Refining and Petro Chemicals Company Limited and SCG Chemicals Company Limited; (ix) MOU between SCIC Investment Company Limited and Kasikorn Bank Public Company Limited; (x) Corporation on Bac Lieu/Ca Mau Wind Power Project 700 MV between Super Energy Group Company Limited and Cong Ly Limited Company.
Advancing Thailand – Vietnam Strategic Partnership
5. Both Prime Ministers held wide-ranging discussions on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest. Prime Minister Prayut and Prime Minister Phuc reviewed and expressed great satisfaction with the development of bilateral relations. The two Prime Ministers welcomed the substantial progress the two countries have made according to the Plan of Action Implementing the Thailand – Vietnam Strategic Partnership (2014 – 2018), and agreed to expand and deepen their cooperation in advancing their strategic partnership.
6. Both parties emphasized their commitment and determination to strengthen their bilateral relationship based on mutual respect, mutual understanding and mutual benefit at all levels and in all areas.
7. The two Prime Ministers appreciated the regular exchanges of high-level visits and continued cooperation through the existing bilateral mechanisms, and agreed on tentative schedules for the organisation of the 4th Joint Cabinet Retreat (JCR) in early 2018, preceded by the 3rd Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC), the 3rd Foreign Ministers’ Retreat (FMR), and the 3rd Joint Trade Committee (JTC). They also welcomed the successful outcome of the 9th Joint Working Group on Political and Security Cooperation (JWG on PSC) recently held during 16 – 19 July 2017 and other bilateral mechanisms.
Strengthening Cooperation for Peace and Security
8. Both sides highly appreciate the fruitful outcome of bilateral defence cooperation over the years, and reaffirmed the commitment to further promote cooperation through maintaining exchange of high-level visits, Dialogue on Defence Policy, young officers interaction, training, exchange of defence intelligence. The two sides also agreed to hold regular consultation and close coordination in the multilateral issues, particularly in the framework of ASEAN and between ASEAN with other partners.
9. The two Prime Ministers exchanged views on global and regional security. They reaffirmed their commitment to enhance defence cooperation, intelligence information sharing, and training courses, and agreed to intensify bilateral efforts, cooperation and coordination at all levels to combat transnational crimes, in particular trafficking in narcotic drugs, trafficking in persons, illegal migration, arms smuggling, terrorism and cybercrime.
10. The two sides emphasized the need to effectively implement the existing agreements/MOUs and maintain the frequency meeting of related security cooperation mechanisms. Both sides agreed to continue the close collaboration in ASEAN frameworks such as AMMTC/SOMTC, ASOD, ASEANAPOL, INTERPOL.
11. In that light, the two sides agreed to negotiate Extradition Treaty and the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters. Both sides expressed the willingness to implement the 2010 Treaty between Thailand and Vietnam on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons.
12. Both sides reaffirmed their commitments not to allow any individual or organization to use the territory of one country to conduct activities against the other.
13. The Prime Ministers reaffirmed the importance of strengthening cooperation and sharing of experiences in order to prevent and suppress illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in their respective countries, including exchanging information on maritime security. In this regard, both sides also commended the ongoing joint Navy patrol, the recent nomination of the Point of Contact (POC) between Thailand Maritime Enforcing Coordination Center (THAI- MECC) and Vietnam’s Coast Guard, as well as the cooperation between agencies through existing bilateral mechanisms, including the Joint Working Group to cooperate to address the illegal fishing matters. The Prime Minister of Thailand expressed firm support for Vietnam’s recent initiative in preventing and suppressing illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The Prime Minister of Vietnam welcomed Thailand’s assistance in sharing Thailand’s experience of the combat against IUU fishing with Vietnam.
14. The two Prime Ministers welcomed enhanced cooperation between Vietnam coastguard and Thai-MECC and agreed to finalize the MOU on Agriculture Cooperation and the MOU on establishment of hotline communication on fisheries at sea between the two countries. They encouraged line agencies to fully utilise the existing mechanisms / hotlines, and to expedite the negotiation and looked forward to the conclusion of the MOU on setting the hotline between the Inter – Ministerial Working Group 689 of Vietnam and the Thai Working Group on Combating IUU Fishing of Thailand.
Strengthening cooperation in the legal and judicial field
15. Both sides reaffirmed their commitments to further promoting cooperation in the legal and judicial field in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Justice of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Ministry of Justice of the Kingdom of Thailand signed in Ha Noi on 23rd March 2015 and expedited negotiation and conclusion of the Agreement on mutual judicial assistance in civil matters between the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Kingdom of Thailand.
Expanding and Strengthening Economic Cooperation
16. Both Prime Ministers expressed appreciation for the growing trade and investment ties between Thailand and Vietnam. They reiterated their commitment towards the bilateral trade target of 20 billion USD by 2020. The two leaders agreed to task agencies concerned to work closely to ensure that the target goal would be achieved, taking into account Vietnam’s and Thailand’s markets growth potential.
17. The two leaders commended the friendly coordination between the private sectors of both countries on the export of rice. Both sides agreed that it is important to facilitate the two-way trade, as well as to strengthen trade promotion between the two countries.
18. The Thai side expressed appreciation for Vietnam’s recent granting of import permits for Thai longans and lychees and looked forward to the granting of import permits for Thai rambutans and mangoes in the near future. The Vietnamese side also expressed appreciation for the granting of import permits for lychees, longans, and mangoes from Vietnam by the Thai side in 2016. The Thai side informed the Vietnamese side that Vietnam’s recent additional request for import permits for rambutans, pineapples, custard apples, star apples and pomeloes is under positive consideration of the Thai side.
19. The two Prime Ministers expressed appreciation for Thai private sector’s initiatives to share experiences in product branding and development for Vietnamese local products and handicrafts. Both sides recognized the benefits of establishing one stop export service centres, and therefore are willing to share lessons learned and best practices as gestures of mutual support.
20. The two Prime Ministers commended the active and extensive connection between Thai and Vietnamese private sectors, especially in creating and nurturing the business networks of the start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the young entrepreneurs between both countries, which will contribute to the stronger economic growth of both countries. The Thai side welcomed more Vietnamese investment into Thailand.
21. Both sides agreed to promote and strengthen cooperation in the area of trade through frequent exchange of information and experiences under bilateral, regional and multilateral trade frameworks.
Consolidating and Advancing Investment
22. The two Prime Ministers highly appreciated the potential of both countries as strategic partners to prosper together. Both sides reaffirmed the willingness to link bilateral trade to bilateral investment, particularly the sectors emphasizing Vietnam’s and Thailand’s strengths as an important hub for the sub-regional production and supply chain.
23. The Thai side reaffirmed the determination to further support the substantial investment of Thai private sector, particularly in fields fundamental to Vietnam’s economic growth, such as, industrial estate development, energy, construction materials, and banking, tourism, garments and textiles, chemical manufacture, petrochemicals, agricultural and food processing, electronics and automotive components. The Thai side also reiterated the importance of Vietnam as an essential manufacturing base for Thai businesses in the region and the rest of the world. Both Prime Ministers agreed, in this regard, to assign their agencies concerned to continue to facilitate greater flows of investment in these areas, as well as to resolve any impeding factors.
24. The two leaders expressed appreciation that the Thai private sectors have demonstrated the long-term vision and determination to develop a business model with corporate social responsibility to the Vietnamese local communities, particularly in contributing to the improvement of infrastructure, health and education of local communities in Vietnam.
Enhancing Labour Cooperation
25. The two sides discussed further enhancing of bilateral labour cooperation. The two sides agreed to work closely to facilitate the import of Vietnamese workers in construction and fishery in accordance to the Memorandum of Understanding on the Employment of Vietnamese Workers and the Agreement of Employment of Vietnamese Workers signed in July 2016 and took note of Vietnam’s request that the Thai side will receive Vietnamese workers in services sector and factories
Extending Greater Connectivity
26. The two leaders emphasized the potential of a well-linked Mekong sub-region as the hub that connects mainland South East Asia to the rest of Asia and the world. The two Prime Ministers expressed their determination to intensify cooperation in promoting multi-modal transportation linkages, including land, sea and air, between the two countries and within the Mekong sub-region. Both Prime Ministers agreed to expedite the development of the scheduled bus service connecting Thailand – Laos PDR – Vietnam via Road 9 and Road 12, as well as the development of Coastal Shipping connecting Thailand – Cambodia – Vietnam. Both leaders agreed to encourage the private sectors to urgently work together to find a business model which will benefit all parties concerned. The Vietnamese side will host the second tripartite working group meeting to develop coastal shipping routes in the third quarter of 2017.
27. On air connectivity, both leaders welcomed new flight route connecting Thailand and Vietnam, namely, the Quang Binh – Chiang Mai route.
Strengthening people to people links:
28. The Two Prime Ministers took note with appreciation that cooperation in the field of culture and people to people links has been broadly intensified. In order to enhance the role of this area, the two sides agreed to successfully implement the Joint Action Program on Tourism Cooperation in the period of 2017-2018; fully support the roles and activities of the Thailand – Vietnam and the Vietnam – Thailand Friendship Associations and encouraged further establishment of sister cities between provinces of the two countries. The two Prime Ministers welcomed enhanced interactions between the two peoples.
Reinvigorating Technical Cooperation for Sustainable Development
29. The two Prime Ministers appreciated the close cooperation between the two countries in areas of technical cooperation and development. Both Prime Ministers welcomed further cooperation on the teaching of Thai and Vietnamese languages, including teaching Thai and Vietnamese at educational institutions in respective countries. The Thai side reaffirmed Thailand’s willingness to host the 11th Thailand and Vietnam Technical Cooperation Meeting this year.
30. Both leaders emphasized the importance of working towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with the Thai side expressing readiness to share its best practices and experiences with Vietnam, in particular the localizing SDGs by beginning at the community level, engaging all stakeholders and forging and promoting partnership for SDGs based on the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy (SEP for SDGs Partnership) which is the initiative launched by Thailand in its chairmanship of G77 in 2016.
31. Both sides agreed to enhance cooperation on science and technology on the basis of the signed Agreement between the Government of Vietnam and the Government of Thailand on Cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation.
Engaging the Region and the World
32. The two Prime Ministers exchanged frank and candid views on regional issues of common interest. They shared their visions and commitment towards enhancing the two countries’ bilateral cooperation in international fora, with a particular emphasis on strengthening cooperation in various Mekong sub-regional frameworks, ACMECS, ASEAN, APEC and the UN. Noting the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN in 2017, both Prime Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining and promoting ASEAN’s centrality in the regional architecture that is inclusive and effective. The two Prime Ministers expressed their support of ASEAN’s Community building efforts and its strategic goals in the regional and global landscape. Prime Minister Prayut also reaffirmed Thailand’s commitment to support Vietnam’s 2017 APEC Chairmanship and looked forward to attending the APEC Summit held in Da Nang in November 2017.
33. The two Prime Ministers emphasized the importance of effective management of the Mekong River as well as its sustainable use as an important venue towards a balanced approach between economic benefits and environmental preservation while ensuring the well-being of its peoples.
34. Recognizing the economic potential of the sub-region, the two Prime Ministers welcomed Thailand’s proposed ACMECS Master Plan as a new working guideline towards a comprehensive connectivity of the sub-region. In this regard, the Thai side also proposed in principle the Joint Development Strategy, which is a bilateral mapping of the future economic cooperation between Thailand and Vietnam complimentary to the ACMECS Master Plan, which Thailand will further present to Vietnam.
35. The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace, security and stability, as well as safety and freedom of navigation in and over-flight above the South China Sea/East Sea, which are in the interest of all countries within and outside the region, as it is a fundamental condition for growth, development and prosperity. Both Prime Ministers emphasized the need for all parties to ensure the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in its entirety; to build, maintain and enhance mutual trust and confidence; to respect the principles of no use of force and the exercise of self-restraint; and to resolve their differences and disputes through peaceful means, in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The two Prime Ministers also reaffirmed their support for the ASEAN - China’s early conclusion of the Code of Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea (COC). Both leaders shared the view that the ultimate goal should be for the South China Sea to be a sea of peace, stability and sustainable development.-VNS