Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s visit to strengthen bilateral ties

The visit to Vietnam from January 11-13 by Indonesian President Joko Widodo is expected to further tighten the Vietnam-Indonesia strategic partnership and deepen their bilateral cooperation.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s visit to strengthen bilateral ties
Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s visit to strengthen bilateral ties: Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (L) meets Indonesian President Joko Widodo within the framework of 42nd ASEAN Summit in 2023. (Photo: VNA)

This will be the President’s second state visit to Vietnam, after the first in 2018.

Indonesia was the first Southeast Asian nation to set up diplomatic ties with Vietnam, on December 30, 1955.

Since then, the bilateral friendship has been continuously nurtured by generations of leaders and peoples.

Since 1990, the two sides have organised various visits by State, Government and National Assembly delegations, and promoted cultural and people-to-people exchanges.

In June 2013, on the occasion of the state visit to Indonesia by then President Truong Tan Sang, the two sides issued a joint statement on the establishment of their strategic partnership, marking an important milestone in the history of the bilateral diplomatic relations.

At multilateral forums, the two countries have maintained close coordination and shared views on many issues of strategic importance associated with maintaining peace, stability, and security in the region.

Economic collaboration and trade is described as a bright spot in bilateral relations. Currently, Indonesia is Vietnam’s third biggest trade partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), while the latter is the former’s fourth largest.

Two-way trade increased from 8.2 billion USD in 2020 to 14.1 billion USD in 2022, and was estimated at over 12 billion USD last year. The two countries are striving for 15 billion USD in two-way trade by 2028.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Indonesia Ta Van Thong said that the two countries still have huge potential to be tapped and a lot of advantages to supplement each other. In ASEAN, Indonesia is the largest market with more than 285 million consumers, while Vietnam is the third largest with 100 million people and impressive economic growth.

In addition, they have many advantages to increase two-way trade, as both are members of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

According to the diplomat, during President Widodo’s trip, the two sides will exchange views on cooperation in fields of shared concern such as promoting trade and investment, and cooperating in energy transition and development of green and digital economy, electric vehicle manufacturing, and hi-tech agriculture.

As the world situation is experiencing big developments in terms of geopolitics, security, and economics, the two sides will have many issues to discuss to boost cooperation and coordination at regional and international forums.

As both Vietnam and Indonesia have made strong commitments to cutting carbon emissions, demonstrating their responsibility in contributing to the global effort to respond to climate change, they can cooperate closely in the fields of energy transition, carbon storage, development of renewable and green energies, and sustainable green economic development.

It is necessary to consider the signing of a new agricultural cooperation agreement to carry out specific collaboration projects to increase farmers' livelihoods, ensure food security and promote trade and economic development of each country, said Ambassador Thong.

Tourism is also a promising field to promote collaboration between the two countries, he said. The resumption of direct flights after a period of disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the opening of new Ho Chi Minh City – Jakarta and Hanoi – Jakarta routes by the Vietnamese carrier Vietjet are favourable conditions for the two sides to cooperate in developing specific tourism products, connecting destinations, and creating new products in a green and sustainable direction, he assessed.

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(Source: WVR/VNA)