Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and government officials of the two countries attend the joint Vietnamese-Thai Cabinet meeting in Bangkok on July 23, 2015. Photo: Vietnam News Agency/Duc Tam
Cooperation between Vietnam and Thailand has been comprehensively flourishing, demonstrating the growing efficiency and importance of their strategic partnership, said leaders of the two countries on Thursday.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his Thai counterpart Prayuth Chan-ocha said at their retreat talks and the joint Cabinet meeting in Bangkok on July 23.
The joint Vietnamese-Thai Cabinet meeting was the third instance and the first since the two countries set up their strategic partnership in June 2013.
The two leaders’ talks focused on their respective countries’ development. While the Thai PM spoke highly of the enormous achievements Vietnam has reaped during 30 years of doi moi (reform), his Vietnamese counterpart congratulated Thailand on its development attainments and increasing stature in the region and the world.
Dung said Vietnam continually attaches importance to its traditional amity and comprehensive cooperation with Thailand and supports the latter’s active contributions to regional and global peace, stability, cooperation and development.
Prayuth Chan-ocha voiced his willingness to closely work with Vietnam to foster bilateral relations in a result-oriented fashion.
The two PMs agreed on major cooperation orientations to intensify the efficiency of the strategic partnership.
They concurred to enhance all-level delegation exchanges; implement the action program on implementing the Vietnam-Thailand strategic partnership between 2014 and 2018 as well as possible; optimize cooperation mechanisms such as the joint Cabinet meeting, the Joint Committee on Bilateral Cooperation, the Foreign Minister Retreat, and the Joint Working Group on Political-Security Cooperation; and closely coordinate to organize ceremonies marking the 40th anniversary of their diplomatic relations (1976-2016).
They also agreed to continue effectively carrying out the bilateral defense cooperation agreement; shortly establish and put a defense policy dialogue mechanism into operation between the Vietnamese Deputy Defense Minister and the Standing Secretary of the Thai Defense Ministry as well as a high-ranking security dialogue mechanism between the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security and the Royal Thai Police; and push forward the negotiations on and signing of cooperation deals in these fields such as an extradition agreement.
The two sides affirmed that they will realize the commitment to not let any organizations or individuals take advantage of their respective countries’ territories to engage in sabotage activities against the other country.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (L) shakes hands with his Thai counterpart Prayuth Chan-ocha on July 23, 2015. Photo: Vietnam News Agency/Duc Tam
The nations intend to bring their trade to US$20 billion by 2020, given the fact that Thailand is among the top 10 foreign direct investors in and the leading ASEAN trade partner of Vietnam.
PM Dung asked Thailand to beef up its investments in areas of mutual interest, especially sea tourism, textile-garment and footwear industries, farm produce production and processing, mechanics, chemistry and material production.
Vietnam and Thailand were unanimous in strengthening collaboration in other realms like labor, culture, sports, education, aquatic products, science-technology and connectivity, including the opening of passenger transportation services along fixed routes and coastal transport cooperation among Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia.
The two sides also agreed to increase affiliations between their localities and people-to-people exchanges coordinated through the Vietnam-Thailand and Thailand-Vietnam Friendship Associations.
Discussing regional and international issues of shared concern, the PMs renewed the viewpoint made in the Statement of the Chairman of the 26th ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last April. They pledged to continue working closely and with other ASEAN nations to promote the formation of the ASEAN Community later this year while maintaining the bloc’s leadership and centrality in regional strategic matters.
They voiced concern over recent issues involving the East Sea, internationally known as the South China Sea, which have affected trust, peace, security and stability in the region. The two leaders also reiterated the importance of ensuring peace, stability as well as marine and aviation safety and freedom in the waters.
They urged all parties concerned to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea; build, sustain and bolster mutual trust; exercise self-restraint and not use or threaten to use force; settle disputes through peaceful measures in compliance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; and boost dialogues and consultations to expeditiously complete a code of conduct in the waters.
Concluding the joint meeting, the PMs witnessed the signing of a number of cooperation agreements, including a Joint Statement on the third joint Vietnam-Thailand Cabinet meeting, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on labor cooperation, an agreement on labor recruitment, an MoU on cooperation between Vietnam’s Long An province and Thailand’s Trat province and an MoU on cooperation between Vietnam’s Kon Tum province and Thailand’s Ubon Ratchathani province.
Following the signings, the two sides held a press conference on the official Thailand visit by PM Nguyen Tan Dung and the outcomes of the third joint Cabinet meeting, and issued a joint communiqué.