Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (right) and his Malaysian counterpart Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob

This is the first official visit to Vietnam by PM Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob since he took office in August 2021.

During the talks, the Vietnamese PM affirmed the significance of the Malaysian PM's visit, which he said will create a new momentum for the Vietnam-Malaysia cooperation, especially after seven years of the strategic partnership and towards the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties (1973-2023).

He congratulated Malaysia for rising to the 25th place in the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2021, believing that the country will continue to post growth and improve its global competitiveness.

PM Chinh informed his guest on Vietnam’s major achievements after 35 years of ‘Doi moi’ (Renewal), and underlined that generations of Vietnamese leaders, recently under the leadership of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, have step by step complete the theory on socialism building and the path towards socialism in Vietnam, based on the cornerstone ideology of making the people the center, the subjective, the driving force and the target of development towards equality and social progress.

A view of the talks (Photo: VGP)

Hailing Vietnam’s accomplishments in the recent past, Malaysian PM Ismail Sabri Yaakob highly valued the role of the Vietnamese Party and State in leading the country in safely adapting to and effectively bringing COVID-19 under control while fostering socio-economic recovery and development, thus raising the country’s role and position in the region and the world.

He affirmed that Malaysia always gives high priority to further bolstering cooperation with Vietnam – the country’s sole strategic partner in Southeast Asia.

The two leaders affirmed their consensus on orientations to promote the bilateral cooperation across all fields for socio-economic recovery and development in the post-pandemic period, including increasing the exchange of high-ranking delegations and at all levels, optimizing bilateral cooperation mechanism, particularly the Joint Committee for Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation; well implementing the action program for the strategic partnership during the 2021-25; and stepping up people-to-people exchanges and holding activities marking the 50th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties next year.

PM Pham Minh Chinh speaks at the event.

The leaders shared the view that economic, trade and investment cooperation has been a bright spot in the bilateral ties, and the two countries hold substantial potential to advance their partnership in those fields.

They agreed to work to raise two-way trade to 18 billion USD or even higher by 2025, and step up the trading of goods of their strength such as agricultural and aquatic products, Halal products and electronic components.

The two sides will also study the building of a mechanism on information sharing regarding trade remedies.

The Malaysian PM pledged that Malaysia stands ready to help Vietnam expand and develop the Halal industry.

PM Chinh suggested Malaysian firms step up investment in support industries, high-quality infrastructure, innovation, high-tech and IT application in digital transformation in Vietnam.

The two PMs held that cooperation in national defense and security has brought about pragmatic results, and consented to push for the early signing of a memorandum of understanding on bilateral defense collaboration, and enhance cyber security and maritime cooperation.

They also compared notes on measures to boost partnerships in other areas like food security, labor, education, justice, science-technology, culture, sports and tourism.

Malaysian PM Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob (first from left) at the talks

Both welcomed the mutual recognition of COVID-19 vaccine passports, which will facilitate the travelling of the two countries’ people, especially when Vietnam fully opened its doors to international visitors from March 15, and Malaysia will open its borders from April 1.

Regarding regional and international issues of shared concern, the leaders highly valued the close cooperation between Vietnam and Malaysia at regional and international forums, and concurred to join efforts to build a united ASEAN and promote the grouping’s centrality in addressing emerging regional issues.

For the East Sea (South China Sea internationally) issue, they agreed to intensify coordination in information and stance with ASEAN, and called on related sides to exercise restraint, neither use force nor threaten to use force, and observe international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982.

The PMs emphasized the importance of fully and effectively implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), maintaining and promoting a conducive environment for negotiations of the Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea (COC) to reach a substantive and effective document, in accordance with international law, including the UNCLOS 1982.

The PMs witness the exchange of a cooperation document. (Photo: VGP)

Following their talks, the PMs witnessed the exchange of a number of cooperation documents, including an MoU on recruitment, employment and repatriation of laborers, and another on legal cooperation between the Vietnamese and Malaysian governments, along with a cooperation agreement between the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) and Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama), and a letter of intent on cooperation between the two Diplomatic Academies of the two Foreign Ministries.

Source: VNA