Vietnam-Indonesia strategic partnership witness progresses in many areas: Former Ambassador

Ten years after its establishment (June 27, 2013-2023), the Vietnam - Indonesia strategic partnership has been consolidated and strengthened across many areas, said former Indonesian Ambassador to Vietnam Ibnu Hadi.
Former Indonesian Ambassador to Vietnam Ibnu Hadi. (Photo: VNA)
Former Indonesian Ambassador to Vietnam Ibnu Hadi. (Photo: VNA)

The Vietnam-Indonesia strategic partnership is aimed at the benefit and prosperity of the two peoples, so economic cooperation, particularly in trade and investment, is the main focus of the partnership, the former Ambassador said on the occasion of the anniversary.

The diplomat noted that during his term (2016-2020), the two-way trade turnover increased from about 5 billion USD to 9 billion USD, reaching over 14 billion USD in 2022.

Regarding investment, the capital flows from Indonesia to Vietnam and vice versa reached 670 million USD by 2022, of which Indonesian investment capital accounts for 620 million USD.

The former ambassador said the amount of Indonesian investment in Vietnam is still quite modest, while Vietnam still has few investment projects in Indonesia. However, he believes that in the future, Vietnam and Indonesia can see more investment projects from both sides.

Regarding connectivity - an important factor to promote economic cooperation, trade, investment, tourism, and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, Ibnu said that remarkable progress has been made, particularly in aviation with direct flights launched between the two countries.

The two countries need to further increase connectivity to facilitate trade, he said. He especially looks forward to the opening of direct flights between Jakarta and Hanoi, which he said is his dream for years.

For directions for cooperation in the coming time, Ibnu suggested the two countries focus on fisheries and aquaculture, especially after the two countries signed the agreement on the boundaries of their exclusive economic zones (EEZs) last December.

Digital transformation is also a potential area for cooperation, particularly when the Government of Vietnam is prioritizing digital transformation in all areas.

The two countries can also work together in infrastructure development including seaports, roads, and railways, he added.

Assessing Vietnam's role in the ASEAN, Ibnu said with Vietnam’s growth and potential, its role in ASEAN will certainly increase a lot and the country is expected to play a more important role in building ASEAN.

According to the former ambassador, Vietnam is aware of its growing role, and that it can play more roles than before. In particular, Vietnam can serve as "a bridge for ASEAN to be more united and connected" thanks to its good relationship with Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar.

Vietnam has played a very active role not only within but also outside the ASEAN region, he said. This was proved when the country held the ASEAN Chair in 2020 - a year with many challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The diplomat recalled that that year, almost all ASEAN meetings took place online, but Vietnam played a very positive and constructive role to move ASEAN forward.

He also emphasized that, as active members of ASEAN, cooperation between Vietnam – the third most populous country in the region - and Indonesia - the most populous country in the region - is very important for the peace and prosperity of the whole bloc. Through their bilateral relationship, Vietnam and Indonesia also contribute a lot to ASEAN, both directly and indirectly.

Regarding the East Sea issue, the diplomat said the successful conclusion of the negotiation process on the maritime border between Indonesia and Vietnam has contributed greatly to the region. That agreement will positively impact the ongoing negotiations among other countries in the region, he said.

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(Source: VNA)