Vietnam and Thailand established their diplomatic relations in 1976. The event created a firm foundation for the two Southeast Asian countries to strengthen their friendship and multifaceted cooperation. 

Prime Minister of Vietnam Pham Van Dong (left) and his Thai counterpart Kriangsak Chomanan after their talks in Bangkok in September 1978

After the official visit of then Prime Minister of Vietnam Pham Van Dong to Thailand in 1978, the two countries saw major developments in their bilateral relations. After Vietnam officially joined ASEAN in 1995, the two Southeast Asian countries had more opportunity to develop their relationship. In 2004, the two countries conducted the first Vietnam-Thailand Joint Cabinet meeting. This macro bilateral cooperation mechanism under the co-chair of the two prime ministers defined major orientations for bilateral cooperative relations. Nearly a decade later, the two Southeast Asian countries entered a new stage of development with greater achievements after they upgraded their relations to a strategic partnership on the occasion of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s visit to Thailand in 2013. In July 2015, the two sides lifted their relationship to a strengthened strategic partnership.

Over the past time, Vietnam and Thailand have effectively maintained their friendship and strengthened their strategic partnership. The two countries have shown their appreciation of their relationship as well as resolve to foster the strengthened strategic partnership in an intensive, effective and practical manner on the basis of mutual respect and understanding, for mutual benefits. In the context of the complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, the two sides have flexibly conducted online meetings at all levels. In such a hard time, cooperation in economy, trade and investment has remained a highlight in bilateral relations as Thailand has firmly secured its position as the largest trade partner of Vietnam in ASEAN and the ninth largest investor in the country. The two sides have agreed to apply more effective measures to facilitate economic recovery after the pandemic and soon lift the bilateral trade revenue to USD 25 billion. 

Regarding bilateral defense cooperation, the two countries demonstrated their mutual trust through delegation exchanges, exchanges of young officers, language training and cooperation between air forces and navies. Various cooperation dialogue mechanisms at all levels were established and conducted effectively.

Apart from traditional cooperation fields, Vietnam and Thailand have extended their cooperation in culture, education, labor and people-to-people exchange, contributing to strengthening mutual trust and traditional friendship between them. The two countries have also shown their support to one another at meetings of the U.N. and ASEAN, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Ayeyawady - Chao Phraya - Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy, the Mekong River Commission, and the Mekong - Lancang Cooperation, among others. In addition, they have actively contributed ideas to accelerating the adoption and implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

It is obvious that over the past 45 years, Vietnam and Thailand relations have made great strides, bringing practical benefits for people of the two countries. As members of ASEAN, the two countries need to bring into play their obtained achievements to overcome challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and further strengthen their cooperation for benefits of the two countries and for regional and international peace, stability, cooperation and development.

Translated by Tran Hoai