People-to-people diplomacy: A bridge span for Viet Nam-Thailand friendship
The date August 6, 1976 is an important milestone when Viet Nam and Thailand officially established diplomatic relations, creating an important basis and premise in laying the strong foundation to promote the two countries' friendship and cooperation.
Through a long history, especially in the past few decades, the friendship and cooperation between the two sides have been continuously consolidated and developed in every aspect, marked by visits by senior leaders such as Prime Minister Pham Van Dong (1978), Party General Secretary Do Muoi (1993), State President Tran Duc Luong (2007).
And during an official visit to Thailand by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in 2013, the two countries officially upgraded relations to a Strategic Partnership and now an Enhanced Strategic Partnership.
|The plenary session of the Viet Nam-Thailand Friendship Association in Dong Nai province is held to award the certificates of merit from the Central Committee of the Association to typically outstanding individuals on January 8, 2021. (Photo: Viet Nam-Thailand Friendship Association)|
The next 2 years will mark the 10th anniversary of the Strategic Partnership relationship between Viet Nam and Thailand. It is time to look back at the bilateral ties during the past 10 years of cooperation and to make good preparations for the next stage of development which promises stronger and more solid development of Viet Nam-Thailand friendship and cooperation.
Recent developments in Viet Nam-Thailand relations and the need to promote bilateral cooperation between the two countries have led to the establishment of the two Friendship Associations in the two sides. The Viet Nam-Thailand Friendship Association was established in 1996 in Viet Nam and one year later, the Thailand–Viet Nam Friendship Association was formed in Thailand.
Since their establishment, the two associations have carried out many activities, contributing to promoting the understanding between the two peoples and further strengthening the friendship and cooperation between the two countries.
One of the important factors for the operation of the two associations is to form the mechanism for annual meetings to be held in rotation by the two associations. Up to now, 10 joint meetings have been organized. The first annual meeting in 2010 was held in Khon Kaen (Thailand) and most recently, the 10th was taken place in Da Lat (Viet Nam) in 2019.
At each plenary meeting, the two associations' leaders have the opportunity to review their activities, jointly set out the direction of each association's schemes and work on the plan for organizing joint activities for the next year.
|Opening ceremony of the 10th Thailand’s Festival in Ha Noi on September 17, 2018. (Photo: Viet Nam-Thailand Friendship Association)|
Since 2015, with the commonly shared determination of joining hands to connect the markets, every year, the Viet Nam - Thailand Friendship Association has cooperated with the Thailand-Viet Nam Friendship Association to organize a seminar in Thailand with the participation of hundreds of enterprises from the two countries, creating conditions and opportunities for businessmen to meet each other and look for opportunities of trade and investment cooperation.
Despite of difficulties and complexities, the leaders of the two associations have been making great efforts to promote the opening of sea freight and tourism routes between Viet Nam and Thailand.
The two associations have promoted cooperation between Vinh University and Khon Kaen University; between Nguyen Tat Thanh University and Chiang Rai University and between Hue Tourism College and Faculty of Social and Humanities (Khon Kaen University).
Recently, the Viet Nam - Thailand Friendship Association introduced 3 students from Hue to study at Bamboo School, in Buiram province, under a scholarship from the Mechai Viravaidya Foundation. In response to the encouragement of two Friendship Associations, CP Group will grant 5 scholarships to Vietnamese students to study at Bamboo School in the near future.
Regarding tourism development, the Thailand-Viet Nam Friendship Association has repeatedly organized Caravan tour Group to visit scenic spots in the central and northwestern provinces of Viet Nam, not only to contribute to promoting Viet Nam's tourism but also to meet the needs of surveying, exploring the opportunities for trade, cooperation and investment with Vietnamese partners.
In 2016, for the first time, the two associations coordinated to organize the People's Friendship Festival in Khon Kaen city with a variety of activities. This was a lively form of communication, to help the people of the two countries understand each other. Currently, the Viet Nam-Thailand Friendship Association is preparing for the second People's Friendship Festival due to be held in Viet Nam.
At the time being, the Viet Nam - Thailand Friendship Association realizes the potential areas for the two countries to further promote cooperation in the fields of trade, services, tourism, education, culture, sports, agriculture, and health care, etc. Among those potentials, the Northeast region of Thailand has been paid much attention for the opportunity to develop trade, tourism and investment, through the development of the East West Economic Corridor.
The Viet Nam-Thailand Friendship Association will continue its activities, maintain the role of the reliable bridge, contributing to enhancing the understanding, friendship and cooperation between the two peoples.
The Vietnamese Government has rolled out various guidelines and policies towards people and human rights protection, heard an international workshop in Ha Noi.
Many overseas Vietnamese entrepreneurs have been wholeheartedly contributing to Viet Nam, with substantial, practical actions for the sake of their fatherland.