Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — President Trần Đại Quang affirmed Việt Nam’s support for Myanmar’s national reconciliation process during a reception for State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar on Thursday.
Welcoming the visiting leader to Hà Nội and the 2018 World Economic Forum on ASEAN (WEF ASEAN 2018), the President congratulated Myanmar on the success of the third session of the 21st century Panglong Peace Conference.
President Quang recalled the long history of friendship between the two nations, first fostered by President Hồ Chí Minh and leader Aung San and continued by generations of officials. He added the two countries share cultural and religious similarities as well as the tradition of fighting for national independence.
Việt Nam intends to continue its official co-operation with Myanmar, he said. The countries will use as many channels as possible, focusing on connections between their parties, national assemblies, governments and peoples.
President Quang expressed satisfaction with how the partnership has developed, citing the official State visit by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Việt Nam Nguyễn Phú Trọng to Myanmar in August 2017 and State Counsellor Suu Kyi’s prior visit in April 2018.
Trade between the two nations reached nearly US$830 million in 2017, up 51 per cent from 2016, making Việt Nam Myanmar’s ninth largest trading partner and seventh largest source of foreign investment.
To ensure ties continue to improve, President Quang suggested continuing State visits at all levels. He also hopes to sign an official co-operation agreement soon and to raise bilateral trade to $1 billion.
The two sides must continue negotiating agriculture and fishing agreements, he said. He also targeted pacts in transport and policing. He urges the establishment of defence policy dialogue between deputy ministers and deputy chiefs of staff.
President Quang advocated for more face-to-face contact between the people of the two countries, saying it would boost understanding between HCM City and Yangon.
Citing the success of Mytel, a joint telecommunications venture between Việt Nam’s Viettel group and partners in Myanmar that launched in June, President Quang asked the State Counsellor to create favourable investment conditions for Vietnamese firms. This will ensure that Việt Nam can continue to support Myanmar’s economic development.
The President said he values contact between representatives of the two nations at international and regional forums, mentioning the UN, the Non-Aligned Movement and ASEAN. He said ASEAN and sub-region groups such as Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Việt Nam (CLMV) provide a framework to continue improving ties. To this end, he expressed his wish for Myanmar to join the Mekong River Commission (MRC).
Aung San Suu Kyi said she appreciates Việt Nam’s friendship and thanked the President for his support of Myanmar’s peace process.
She affirmed Myanmar hopes to increase economic co-operation with Việt Nam while promoting ties in education, tourism and cultural exchange.
Suu Kyi said WEF ASEAN 2018 was an invaluable opportunity for businesses to form connections with their peers in ASEAN. The event also improves links between governments, she said. — VNS