To grasp the opportunity to promote Viet Nam-Malaysia relations: Ambassador
|Malaysian Prime Minister Dato' Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob. (Photo: VNA)|
At the invitation of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, Malaysian Prime Minister Dato' Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob will pay an official visit to Viet Nam from March 20-21.
In an interview with the World and Viet Nam Report, Vietnamese Ambassador to Malaysia Tran Viet Thai highlighted the importance of the visit.
According to the diplomat, the Viet Nam-Malaysia relationship has developed intensively and extensively over the past years, especially since the two countries established their strategic partnership in August 2015.
In the field of politics-diplomacy, Vietnamese and Malaysian leaders have maintained the exchange of visits, he said, taking the latest trip to Viet Nam by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in 2019 as an example, which has helped to expand cooperation between the two countries.
For economic-trade ties, Thai said two-way trade reached some 13.9 billion USD last year, close to the target of 15 billion USD set by the countries. Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the impressive number showed potential cooperation between the two nations.
Viet Nam and Malaysia have also set up cooperation mechanisms, both bilateral and multilateral, the Ambassador said. Currently, the joint committee for economic, scientific and technological cooperation is operating fruitfully.
They have also announced an action programme for strategic partnership during the 2021-2025 period.
|Viet Nam-Malaysia signed a tourism cooperation agreement in 1994. Since exempting visas for citizens holding ordinary passports (September 2001) and improving air connections, the number of Malaysian tourists to Viet Nam has increased rapidly. In 2019, Malaysian tourists traveling to Viet Nam reached more than 605,000 turns, up 12.2% compared to 2018.|
People-to-people exchange and educational collaboration has also made progress, he continued, expressing his belief that the partnership will grow further in the time ahead, especially after the visit.
Asked about PM Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s message throughout the visit, Thai said this is the first trip to Viet Nam by the Malaysian leader since he took office in August 2021. It is intended to affirm the Malaysian government’s resolve to open doors, recover the national economy and boost all-round cooperation with Viet Nam and other countries.
According to the Ambassador, Malaysia is scheduled to fully open its borders from April 1 after nearly two years of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He noted that many Malaysian businesses are interested in the Vietnamese market as they have seen investment opportunities in the Southeast Asian nation in economy and trade, as well as its recovery in other spheres.
Viet Nam's agricultural and aquatic products have been exported to Malaysia, and Muslim markets in the Middle East and other regions in the world through Malaysia, Thai said.
|Ambassador Tran Viet Thai. (Photo: vietnamnet)|
The ambassador said the two countries have maintained regular cooperation and coordination within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and suggested they work harder to contribute to enhancing intra-bloc cooperation.
Given the complex developments of the regional and international situation, Viet Nam and Malaysia should step up coordination, share information and understanding, and take joint actions in issues of mutual concern like the situation in Myanmar, the East Sea issue, the Russia-Ukraine conflict and COVID-19 prevention and control, while supporting each other at international and regional forums such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and the United Nations (UN), he suggested.
Thai emphasized that there is still ample space for Viet Nam and Malaysia to foster cooperation in order to enhance their bilateral ties and promote ASEAN’s centrality, position and image in the international arena.