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PM returns from Indonesian visit

Released at: 14:34, 13/10/2018

PM returns from Indonesian visit

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (3rd from left) and President Joko Widodo (3rd from right) at their talks in Bali on Oct.12 (Photo: VGP)

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Indonesia on October 11 and 12 to pay working visit and attend ASEAN Leaders' Gathering and annual IMF and WB meetings.

by Long Van

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc returned to Hanoi on the afternoon of October 12 after concluding two days of activities in Indonesia, where he attended the ASEAN Leaders’ Gathering and the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and paid a working visit at the invitation of Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

According to a report from the Vietnam News Agency (VNA), during their talks in Bali on October 12, Prime Minister Phuc and President Widodo stressed the need to create breakthroughs in bilateral economic cooperation, making it the main pillar of the strategic partnership between the two countries.

The two exchanged views on orientations to deepen bilateral ties and elevate cooperation between their countries to a new high, bringing tangible benefits to their people.

They agreed to lift bilateral trade to $10 billion by facilitating market access for each other’s goods, reducing technical barriers, simplifying customs procedures and closely cooperating in product origin inspection and quarantine.

Apart from further facilitating the operation of businesses, the two sides will also create dialogue mechanisms between businesses as well as between businesses and governments to swiftly settle bottlenecks hindering investment and business activities.

The leaders consented to review the 1990 agreement on economic, commercial and technical cooperation and will consider making the Joint Trade and Economic Commission the leading mechanism in promoting bilateral economic ties.

They agreed to expand collaboration to such new areas as digital technology, new technology, intellectual property, clean energy, smart cities, information technology, smart agriculture, logistics, and startup ecosystems, aiming to utilize opportunities generated by Industry 4.0.

The two leaders stressed the need to further strengthen maritime cooperation and agreed to assign competent agencies from both countries to study the establishment of a marine cooperation mechanism to discuss related cooperation, especially in fishing, seafood processing, and building a favorable framework for fishing in a safe, sustainable and legal manner.

Prime Minister Phuc thanked the Indonesian Government for the return of 177 Vietnamese fishermen arrested and detained in Indonesia, proposing both sides regularly exchange information and handle the issue of arrested fishermen and fishing vessels in a humanitarian spirit and in accordance with the good relations between two countries.

The two sides agreed to accelerate the establishment of a hotline on fishing and sea-related issues, while actively coordinating to implement the joint communiqué on voluntarily international cooperation against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing signed last month.

The two leaders welcomed the progress in the demarcation of the exclusive economic zones (EEZ) between the two countries after eleven rounds of negotiations, and consented to work harder for a solution suitable to both sides and in line with international law.

They acknowledged new steps forward in cooperation in agriculture, education and training, and connectivity, and agreed on the need to further expand collaboration in areas of potential such as training workers to meet the demands of the digital economy, strengthening tourism cooperation, and studying the opening of direct air services connecting major and tourist cities of the two countries.

They shared their visions on and committed to increasing cooperation and coordination at international forums, especially within the frameworks of ASEAN, APEC, and the UN.

They affirmed to closely cooperate and work together with other ASEAN member states to build an ASEAN Community of unity, self-reliance, and inclusive development, promote the bloc’s central role in the region, and actively participate in the process of shaping regional cooperation initiatives.

President Widodo committed to supporting Vietnam when it undertakes the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020.

The two sides also affirmed the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the region and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea, while closely coordinating with each other as well as other relevant sides to ensure the full and effective implementation of the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and the early conclusion of an effective, substantial and legal binding Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

In another report on Prime Minister Phuc’s activities in Indonesia, VNA noted that he pledged to create the best possible conditions for foreign investors, including those from Indonesia, during his meetings with leaders of the Ciputra Group and PT Nikko Sekuritas Indonesia in Bali on October 12.

At a meeting with the Director of the Ciputra Group, Mr. Budiarsa Sastrawinata, who is also President of the Indonesia-Vietnam Friendship Association (IVFA), Prime Minister Phuc acknowledged the group’s investment projects in Vietnam, including the Ciputra urban area in Hanoi.

He was quoted by VNA as saying that the Vietnamese Government has made efforts to improve the local business environment and create optimal conditions for investors, including Ciputra.

Mr. Sastrawinata, as quoted by VNA, told the Vietnamese leader that Ciputra is operating in various spheres such as mining, manufacturing and hotels.

Ciputra has cooperated with various Vietnamese partners, including the Vietnam-Indonesia Friendship Association and the Vietnamese Ambassador in Indonesia, to organize business forums, helping to promote investment ties between the two countries, he said.

The group will continue to invest in luxury hotels and Ciputra Hanoi International City, he added, calling for more support from the Prime Minister and the Vietnamese Government for the group’s operations, especially its cooperation with Vietnamese partners.

Prime Minister Phuc expressed his hope that the association will continue working with its Vietnamese counterpart to boost Vietnam-Indonesia relations.

As two populous countries in ASEAN, Vietnam and Indonesia can help reinforce regional development through their bilateral ties, the Prime Minister said.

Meeting with Mr. Harianto Solichin, President Director of PT Nikko Sekuritas Indonesia, which provides investment banking, investment management, and securities brokerage services, Prime Minister Phuc noted the company’s prestige and achievements.

In an article published prior to his visit to Indonesia, the State-run news agency affirmed that the visit illustrates Vietnam’s foreign policy of independence diversification and multilateralization of international relations, and the importance the country attaches to relations with ASEAN member states and the strategic partnership with Indonesia.
According to the news agency, the visit also aims to promote cooperative opportunities in the fields of trade, investment, security and defense, agriculture, the environment, and climate change, among others, thus developing the Vietnam-Indonesia strategic partnership in a more comprehensive and practical manner.

Vietnam and Indonesia set up diplomatic relations on December 30, 1955, but the year 1990 marked the start of a new period in bilateral ties with the historic visit of President Suharto to Vietnam in November of that year.

New milestones in bilateral ties included the signing of the Framework of Friendly and Comprehensive Partnership Entering the 21st Century and the Agreement on the Delimitation of the Continental Shelf in June 2003, during President Megawati Sukarnoputri’s visit in 2003, and the official establishment of their strategic partnership during State President Truong Tan Sang’s State-level visit to Indonesia in 2013.

In particular, the visit to Indonesia by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, the first by a General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam to the country, in August 2017, opened a new chapter in bilateral relations.

The two nations have inked a line-up of cooperation agreements across various sectors, with the latest being the Plan of Action for the Implementation of the Strategic Partnership during 2019-2023, signed during President Widodo’s visit to Vietnam in August this year.

Localities in both countries have enhanced cooperative ties, with partnerships set up between several pairs of cities and provinces, such as Kien Giang province and West Kalimantan, Ba Ria Vung Tau province and Padang city, Da Nang and Somarang, Hanoi and Jakarta, Hue and Yogyakarta, and Soc Trang province and Lampang province.

In recent years, the two countries have enjoyed growing trade revenue, with $4.6 billion recorded in 2012, $5.6 billion in 2016, more than $6.5 billion in 2017, and $5.3 billion in the first eight months of this year. They are striving for $10 billion in two-way trade in the coming time. Vietnam’s major exports to Indonesia are rice, crude oil, cement, electronics spare parts and agricultural products, while it imports fertilizer, gasoline, equipment, paper, and confectionary from Indonesia.

As at June, Indonesia ranked 5th in ASEAN and 30th out of 126 countries and territories having investment in Vietnam, with $514 million in 71 projects. Indonesian investors are interested in oil and gas exploration, mining exploitation, banking, hotels, wood processing, fiber production, and garments.

Meanwhile, Vietnam has so far invested in 13 projects with total registered capital of $54.7 million in Indonesia, most of which are in oil and mining.

Regarding security and defense ties, the two countries have maintained delegation exchanges and implemented cooperation agreements on officer training and joint search and rescue activities.

The two countries are working to expand collaboration and experience sharing in the fields of legislation and justice at both the central and local levels. Cultural and sports exchange activities have also received due attention.

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