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Cambodian PM in Vietnam

Released at: 11:58, 05/10/2019

Cambodian PM in Vietnam

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) and PM Hun Sen in Hanoi on Oct. 4 (Photo: VGP)

Two PMs pledge to step up bilateral relations at talks during PM Hun Sen's official visit on October 4-5.

by Long Van

Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen arrived in Hanoi on October 4 for a two-day official visit at the invitation of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

According to a report from the Vietnam News Agency, during their talks later that day the two government leaders affirmed that Vietnam - Cambodia ties are close and brotherly.

Prime Minister Hun Sen once again thanked Vietnam for its valuable assistance to Cambodia in its struggle to overthrow the genocidal regime in 1979 as well as its help in Cambodia’s reconstruction efforts even though Vietnam was suffering its own difficulties due to the trade embargo in the 1980s.

The two Prime Ministers appreciated the signing of two legal documents recognizing the completion of 84 per cent of land demarcation and marker planting, describing this as a historical milestone in the settlement of the border issues between the two countries as well as in building a shared border of peace, friendship, cooperation, and sustainable development.

They also recognized positive developments in bilateral relations over the past time, especially growth in trade and tourism, and reached consensus on measures to boost cooperation in the future.

The two agreed to consistently strengthen bilateral relations under the motto of “good neighborliness, traditional friendship, comprehensive cooperation, and long-term sustainability” in a spirit of trust, equality, mutual respect, and cooperation for mutually-beneficial benefits.

They agreed to deepen political ties by increasing the exchange of all-level delegations and promoting the efficiency of dialogue and bilateral cooperation mechanisms.

The two Prime Ministers vowed to increase the exchange of viewpoints on matters of strategic security and to strengthen coordination to firmly defend the peaceful environment, security, and stability in each country, while persistently pursuing the principle of not allowing any organizations or individuals to use one country’s territory to harm the other’s security.

They held that, as neighbors, Vietnam and Cambodia hold huge potential and advantages to further step up cooperation in economy, trade, and investment.

They agreed to promote connectivity between the two economies, especially connecting roads, waterway routes, electricity, tourism, and finance and banking.

The two sides will coordinate to build favorable policy frameworks for businesses of both countries, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, to expand investment.

The Prime Ministers agreed to instruct the two countries’ ministries and sectors to identify more measures to increase bilateral trade in the years to come, which is likely to surpass $5 billion this year.

Prime Minister Hun Sen took this occasion to thank Vietnam for providing non-refundable aid for Cambodia to fund the construction of the National Assembly building, a drug rehabilitation center in Preah Sihanouk province, and a model border market, among others, as well as granting scholarships to Cambodian students and public servants.

The two Prime Ministers reached consensus on finding the most suitable measures to help Vietnamese-Cambodians have stable lives and legal status so that they can make contributions to Cambodia’s socioeconomic development.

Touching on regional and international issues, they emphasized the significance of maintaining peace, security, and stability in the region, and affirmed their close coordination in building and developing the ASEAN Community and upholding the principles of ASEAN while consolidating solidarity and resilience and promoting the central role of the bloc.

The two leaders also consented to boosting cooperation in the Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam Development Triangle and the Greater Mekong Sub-region, to narrow development gaps, and to better manage and effectively use the Mekong River’s water resources towards realizing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The two countries will cooperate closely in 2020 when Vietnam takes over the role of ASEAN Chair and Cambodia hosts the 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM 13).

After the talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of seven cooperative documents, including an aid agreement on financing the construction of the Cambodian National Assembly’s Secretariat, an aid agreement on the building of a drug rehabilitation center in Preah Sihanouk province, an MoU on customs cooperation, an MoU on trade promotion cooperation, an MoU on border trade infrastructure development, an MoU on construction progress and handover of a model border market in Da commune in Cambodia’s Tbong Khmum province, and an MoU on electricity cooperation.

Two-way trade between Vietnam and Cambodia reached $4.7 billion in 2018, up 23.8 per cent year-on-year. In the first five months of this year, the figure stood at $2.3 billion, up 19.1 per cent against the same period last year. It is expected to surpass $5 billion this year.

Vietnam is one of Cambodia’s five largest investors. The country has, to date, 214 projects worth over $3 billion in the country.

Vietnamese businesses in Cambodia have contributed to economic development as well as social welfare.

Vietnam is also one of the largest sources of tourists to Cambodia, with nearly 900,000 holidaymakers in 2018.

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