Vietnam - Cambodia Comprehensive, Long-Term Sustainable Cooperation

8:48:30 AM | 12/27/2023

At the invitation of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia Samdech Moha Bovor Thipadei Hun Manet and a high-ranking delegation of the Royal Government of Cambodia paid an official visit to Vietnam.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Prime Minister Hun Manet

At the meeting with his Cambodian counterpart, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh warmly welcomed Prime Minister Hun Manet on his first official visit to Vietnam, as well as his first visit to an ASEAN country. He expressed confidence that the Cambodian Government led by Prime Minister Hun Manet would continue to have many new achievements in national construction and development; successfully implement the Pentagonal Strategy - Phase I to make Cambodia an upper middle-income country by 2030 and a high-income country by 2050.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh emphasized Vietnam's consistent policy of respecting and giving high priority to the relationship of "good neighborhood, traditional friendship, comprehensive, lasting and sustainable cooperation" between Vietnam and Cambodia and respecting the tradition of close solidarity, sharing and mutual support in the past struggle for national independence and in the cause of national construction and development today.

Prime Minister Hun Manet expressed his joy at his official visit to Vietnam in his new position; and congratulated the Party, State and people of Vietnam on the great domestic and foreign achievements that help elevate Vietnam's role and position in the region and the world. He affirmed that his visit aims to inherit good traditions and further promote the traditional solidarity, friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries to a new high.

The two leaders expressed their satisfaction with recent positive development steps in Vietnam-Cambodia relations. Political relations are becoming closer, with higher trust. The two sides regularly exchanged delegations and held high-level meetings at all channels and levels. Security and defense cooperation continued to be reinforced. The two-way trade grew more than 20% a year on average in the 2015-2022 period to exceed US$10 billion in 2022. Vietnam continued to lead ASEAN and stand among the 5 largest investors in Cambodia, with 205 valid projects with a total investment capital of US$2.95 billion. In the first nine months of 2023, more than 640,000 Vietnamese people visited Cambodia and about 250,000 Cambodian tourists chose to visit Vietnam.

The two leaders discussed major directions to strongly foster Vietnam - Cambodia comprehensive cooperation in the coming time. Accordingly, the two sides agreed to increase the exchange of high-level visits and contacts; effectively promote important cooperation mechanisms between the two governments, including the "Vietnam - Cambodia Joint Committee on Economic, Cultural, Scientific and Technical Cooperation" and "Conference Cooperation and Development of Border Provinces”.

Regarding defense and security cooperation, the two Prime Ministers agreed to further reinforce these two important pillars to help maintain a peaceful and stable environment in each country. Regarding economic, trade and investment collaboration, they agreed to support each other in building an independent and self-reliant economy with intensive, extensive and effective international integration; strengthen economic connection, both in infrastructure and in institutions and policies; promote bilateral trade, particularly border trade and border economic development cooperation, with an aim to reach US$20 billion in the coming time. They agreed to encourage and facilitate investment and business cooperation of Vietnamese and Cambodian companies.

With respect to border cooperation, the two Prime Ministers welcomed the close coordination of relevant agencies to maintain and consolidate the border of peace, stability and development; and agreed to continue coordinating and speeding up the demarcation of the remaining 16% of the border, and continuously improve the effectiveness of cooperation between competent forces and border localities of the two countries.

In other aspects, the two Prime Ministers agreed to increase the sharing of experience and collaboration in human resources training; boost cooperation in human resources; strengthen transport connectivity with the increase of direct flights among major cities of the two countries; and coordinate with Laos to promote tourism.

Immediately after the talks, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Prime Minister Hun Manet witnessed the signing of three cooperation documents: Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in science, technology and innovation between the Ministry of Science and Technology of Vietnam and the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation of Cambodia; MoU on cooperation between the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce; and MoU on cooperation between the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam and the Cambodia National Institute of Diplomacy and International Relations.

During his official visit to Vietnam, Prime Minister Hun Manet had many important activities such as paying courtesy calls to General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and President Vo Van Thuong, and meeting with Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue. At high-level meetings and talks, Vietnamese leaders highly appreciated his visit as having important significance, contributing to consolidating and creating a new mark in Vietnam - Cambodia relations.

Prime Minister Hun Manet affirmed that Cambodia will work with Vietnam to protect, preserve and nurture the bilateral relationship to further develop it to new highs and pass it on to future generations.

By Quynh Chi, Vietnam Business Forum