Vietnam and Thailand have pledged to further promote their strategic partnership through the ‘Three Connects’ strategy, as stated in the joint statement issued on Wednesday during the visit to Thailand by Vietnamese State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
The statement was released after the talks between Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his Vietnamese guest, who arrived earlier the same day for a four-day trip including an official visit to Thailand and attendance at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting.
The visit of State President Phuc, who was accompanied by his spouse and an entourage, marked the first official one to Thailand by a Vietnamese president after 24 years, setting a historic milestone in the ever-closer relations between the two countries, according to the statement.
The document also highlighted the celebration of the tenth anniversary of Vietnam - Thailand Strategic Partnership with the message of “Opening a new chapter of stronger strategic partnership for peace, stability, and mutual prosperity.”
Based on that spirit, the two leaders expressed their firm commitment to further advance the bilateral Strengthened Strategic Partnership that will contribute to the socio-economic resilience of both countries through the 'Three Connects' strategy, the statement said.
The first connection is for the two countries’ supply chains, especially in complementary and mutually beneficial industries, such as petrochemical, agriculture, machinery, and electronic parts.
The second link is for the two sides’ grassroots economies, especially the enhancement of direct business linkages and exchanges among micro, small, and medium enterprises and local entrepreneurs, with a view to promoting more cross-border economic activities at the local-to-local level.
The last bond is for the sustainable growth strategies between Thailand’s bio-circular-green (BCG) economy model and Vietnam’s green growth strategy to enable the two countries to achieve the goal of low carbon and environmentally-friendly societies.
At their talks, State President Phuc and PM Prayut expressed their satisfaction with the relentlessly growing bilateral relations, including the economic cooperation that has continued to develop fruitfully despite the general difficult context of the region as well as the world.
In 2021, Thailand was Vietnam’s largest trading partner in ASEAN with a two-way turnover of US$19 billion, an increase of 18 percent compared to 2020.
Both leaders were pleased that the bilateral trade is now on track, creating an important foundation for the two sides to achieve the bilateral trade target set at $25 billion by 2025.
They also noted that the overall trend of bilateral trade is moving forward in a more balanced manner.
The Vietnamese leader asked Thailand to limit the application of trade remedies and create favorable conditions for Vietnamese agricultural products to access the Thai market.
He also encouraged the two sides to move toward using local currencies in making bilateral payments.
Phuc welcomed Thai businesses to expand their investment in Vietnam, especially in such fields as high technology, digital economy, e-commerce, green energy, and infrastructure, among others.
Currently, Thailand is among the top 10 leading countries and territories investing in Vietnam with 670 projects having a combined registered capital of around $13 billion.
Immediately after the pandemic was put under control, the two countries’ tourism quickly recovered and rebounded, with Vietnam welcoming 40,000 Thai tourists while Thailand hosting 130,000 Vietnamese visitors over the first six months of 2022.
The two leaders reaffirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, safety, and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Vietnam Sea to make the waters a sea of peace, stability, and prosperity.
They reiterated their commitment to and support for the resolution of all disputes by peaceful means, without resorting to the threat or use of force, in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
The two leaders stressed the importance of the two nations’ closed coordination on issues of mutual concern and interest in sub-regional, regional, and multilateral frameworks, such as the United Nations (UN), ASEAN, APEC, Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), and Mekong River Commission (MRC).
At the joint press briefing after the talks, President Phuc said he and PM Prayut had a meeting in the spirit of friendship, trust, and mutual understanding, and achieved substantive and comprehensive results.
Vietnam and Thailand have become very important partners of each other and seen their economic cooperation growing strongly, with Thailand being Vietnam’s largest trading partner in ASEAN, the Vietnamese leader stated.
Vietnam continues to create favorable conditions for nationals of the two countries to live, study, and do business in each other's territory on the basis of compliance with local laws.
Currently, 19 localities of Vietnam and Thailand have twinned with each other, he added.
Both sides reaffirmed they would continue to coordinate and support each other at regional and international organizations and forums.
President Phuc spoke highly of Thailand’s Chairmanship of APEC in 2022, while Prime Minister Prayut expressed his appreciation for the full support from Vietnam.
As part of his trip to Thailand, Phuc will attend the 29th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting from Friday through Saturday in Bangkok.