Vietnam, Thailand to establish strategic partnership

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Vietnam and Thailand have agreed to elevate bilateral relations to the level of strategic partnership.

The agreement was confirmed in talks held in Bangkok on June 25 between visiting General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Nguyen Phu Trong and Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra

Trong and Shinawatra said that the partnership will mainly focus on regional and international cooperation on political and socio-cultural issues, economic relations, as well as issues relating to national defense and security, the Vietnam News Agency reported the same day.

The two leaders pledged to boost two-way trade to US$15 billion in 2020 from over $8.6 billion last year.

They also agreed to assign relevant agencies to cooperate in establishing a plan and roadmap for the prime ministers of both countries to sign a strategic partnership agreement at a joint cabinet meeting scheduled to take place in October in Thailand.

Trong also held talks with Thai officials including Somsak Kiatsuranont, President of the National Assembly of Thailand and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Thailand; Nikom Wairatpanij, the President of the Senate of Thailand; members of the Thailand  Vietnam Friendship Association; representatives of leading Thai companies and the Vietnamese community in the country.

This was the first visit by Trong as Party General Secretary to Thailand. It took place 20 years after the visit of former Party head Do Muoi. The visit wrapped up on Thursday.

Vietnam and Thailand, fellow members of ASEAN, established diplomatic relations in 1976.  

Bilateral trade and commercial ties have steadily improved since, especially in rice production and exports, finance, transportation, gas and oil, a Vietnam News Agency report said on June 23.

Thailand is the ninth biggest investor in Vietnam with 313 projects worth $6.4 billion, according to the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA).

As of this year's first quarter, Vietnamese investors had eight projects in Thailand with a total investment of $11.8 million, FIA's statistics show.

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