Viet Nam-Thailand: 45-year cooperation of elation
Thailand and Viet Nam share a long-standing relationship which has been upgraded to an enhanced strategic partnership in 2019. The similar features in the economic, social and cultural fields have given the two countries a solid foundation for their relationship. The two countries' relations have based on such a solid foundation of similarities in terms of economy, culture and society.
Thailand has attached much importance to its relations with Viet Nam. After establishing its diplomatic relations with Viet Nam in 1976, Thailand located the Thai Embassy in Ha Noi in 1992 and proposed to open the Thai Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City, in charge of 22 provinces and cities in the central and southern regions of the country.
|Mr. Apirat Sugondhabhirom, Thai Consul General to Ho Chi Minh City. (Photo: Thai Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City)|
This is also a key area of economy, trade, investment and home to the majority of the Thai community.
At the local level, Thailand and Viet Nam have 16 pairs of sister provinces and cities. Just within the Consulate General’s jurisdiction, there are already 9 established pairs of Thai-Vietnamese sister cities.
The two countries' close ties have contributed to strengthening and consolidating the regional and sub-regional connectivity networks, and simultaneously promoting activities at the local level in the fields of trade, investment, tourism, and education.
An investment destination
The year of 2020 marked a milestone for bilateral relations between Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok as it was the 5th anniversary of the “Friendly relations between Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee.” During the visit to Bangkok in November 2019, Mr. Tran Luu Quang, former Permanent Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee of Ho Chi Minh City paid courtesy calls to Bangkok's leaders and met with a number of relevant agencies of the city in order to further strengthen the cooperation relationship between the two sides.
Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City are among pilot cities in the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN). The primary goal of building sustainable smart cities is to improve the lives of ASEAN citizens through the use of control technology - another area of cooperation that countries can promote together.
From an economic point of view, it can be seen that Viet Nam is an investment destination and an important trading partner of Thailand. Many Thai businesses have opened representative offices in Ho Chi Minh City and neighboring provinces in the southern key economic region. The headquarters of the Thai Business Association in Viet Nam (TBA) is also located in Ho Chi Minh City.
|Mr. Tran Luu Quang, Permanent Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee of Ho Chi Minh City visits Bangkok in November 2019. (Photo: Thai Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City)|
Thailand's private sector investment in Viet Nam not only contributes to economic growth, technology transfer, quality of life and job creation, but also takes the social responsibility of contributing to Vietnamese society as a friendly partner for the welfare of the people of the two countries.
The demonstration could be seen from the community activities that the Thai private sector has carried out in various and constant forms, such as supporting charity activities in different localities, blood donation, awarding scholarships, planting forests, supporting Vietnamese people affected by natural disasters or the COVID-19 pandemic.
Promote people-to-people diplomacy
Besides economic cooperation, Thailand aims to strengthen people-to-people relations which are the most important foundation of our bilateral cooperation.
The Thai Consulate General and the Thai community regularly coordinate activities with the Viet Nam-Thailand Friendship Association, Thailand-Laos Overseas Vietnamese National Salvation Association, Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations in Ho Chi Minh City and provinces and cities such as Da Nang, Can Tho, Dong Nai, Ba Ria-Vung Tau and the Vietnamese Buddhist Sangha on important occasions of both Thailand and Viet Nam.
In the field of education cooperation, currently at the Thai language bachelor's training system under the Ho Chi Minh City University of Social Sciences and Humanities, the University of Danang, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand also keeps dispatching Thai volunteers to support the language teaching within the framework of a Thai language teaching project, contributing to promoting the Thai language, developing the human resources, and increasing job opportunities for Vietnamese students.
|Thai Consul General Apirat Sugondhabhirom at the traditional New Year event of Thai community in Ho Chi Minh City on April 24, 2021. (Photo: Thai Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City)|
Apart from those activities, Thailand and Viet Nam have also implemented development cooperation projects such as the annual international training scholarship program in various fields with a total of over 35 courses for Vietnamese candidates; the project to install artificial coral reefs in Ca Mau province to improve the abundance of aquaculture resources and increase the number of marine life in the waters of Viet Nam in order to contribute to raising income, creating jobs, and sustainable employment for local fishermen.
The Thai Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City believes that the potential of the provinces and cities in its jurisdiction and the good cooperation between Thailand and Ho Chi Minh City and neighboring provinces and cities will be an important contribution to the development of Thailand-Viet Nam relations at the country and local levels and be an important cog and gear wheel in the development of ASEAN.
In the context of the challenges of the rapidly changing world and the current spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Thailand and Viet Nam need to strengthen bilateral ties to overcome the obstacles and take advantage of opportunities in the era of “new normality” and the fourth industrial revolution. By working together, the two countries could bring their peoples and the region to overcome these obstacles and grow stronger than ever.
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