Consolidating Trust, Promoting Vietnam-Malaysia Cooperation

9:29:54 AM | 3/23/2022

Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob is paying an official visit to Vietnam at the invitation of Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh. This is the first official visit of the Malaysian Prime Minister to Vietnam since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating the two countries’ wishes to strongly promote the bilateral strategic partnership.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in August 2019. (Photo: VGP)

The official visit to Vietnam by Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob takes place in the context that the two countries are looking forward to celebrating the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic relations in 2023 and the traditional friendship and strategic partnership continue to develop well in many fields. Both countries are important members in ASEAN and at multilateral and international forums.

The Strategic Partnership was established in August 2015 and the two countries are actively promoting the Action Programme to implement the Strategic Partnership in the 2021-2025 period in order to strengthen cooperation, recovery and development in the post-COVID-19 period.

Political cooperation continues to be consolidated with meetings and exchanges of delegations at all levels while bilateral cooperation mechanisms are regularly maintained and organised flexibly in accordance with the pandemic context.

Bilateral economic cooperation has grown positively as the two countries are always in the group of 10 largest trading partners of each other. Two-way trade turnover reached 12.5 billion USD in 2021, up 25.3% over 2020. With 668 valid projects and total registered capital of 13 billion USD, Malaysia is the second largest investor in ASEAN and ranked 10th among 140 countries and territories investing in Vietnam.

Security-defence cooperation has also made substantial progress. The two countries are actively working to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on defence cooperation. The two sides have also enhanced the exchange of information related to the prevention and combat of terrorism and cyber and transnational crimes. Cooperation in the fields of labour, culture, tourism, education, healthcare, and people-to-people exchanges has been constantly boosted.

The two countries also maintain coordination and mutual support in their joint efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. On the basis of the strategic partnership between the two countries, Vietnam has donated masks and medical equipment to Malaysia.

Vietnam and Malaysia share common interests and stances on many regional and international issues, including the East Sea/South China Sea issue. The two sides have strengthened coordination and cooperation at multilateral organisations and forums, especially the United Nations, ASEAN, and APEC, as well as in free trade agreements that the two countries are participating in, such as CPTPP and RCEP.

The official visit to Vietnam by Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob is an important foreign affairs activity, demonstrating the strong commitment of the two countries in strengthening the friendship and strategic partnership, towards recovery after the pandemic.

Welcoming the Prime Minister of Malaysia demonstrates the foreign policy of the 13th Party Congress and the consistent foreign policy of Vietnam with the priority given to fostering relations with neighboring countries and countries in ASEAN.

During the visit, on the basis of the fine relationship between the two countries, the leaders of Vietnam and Malaysia will discuss the cooperation in many fields, such as politics-diplomacy, economy, defence -security, labour, culture, education, technology and others.

May the Malaysian Prime Minister’s official visit to Vietnam be a great success, contributing to strengthening political trust, deepening the Strategic Partnership and multifaceted cooperation, and making the two countries' relations to become more substantive and effective.