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Vietnam, Indonesia target $15bn two-way trade, boost strategic partnership to new height

Vietnam, Indonesia target $15bn two-way trade, boost strategic partnership to new height

Saturday, January 13, 2024, 15:34 GMT+7
Vietnam, Indonesia target $15bn two-way trade, boost strategic partnership to new height
Indonesian President Joko Widodo (L) and his Vietnamese counterpart Vo Van Thuong are seen at the press briefing after their talks in Hanoi on January 12, 2023. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Vietnamese President Vo Van Thuong and his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo have pledged to increase the bilateral trade to US$15 billion in the near future and further promote their strategic partnership in all fields to a new height. 

The two leaders made the pledge at their talks in Hanoi on Friday, after President Thuong gave an official reception to Indonesian President Widodo who is on an official three-day visit in Vietnam starting on Thursday.

They expressed satisfaction with the strong and dynamic developments of the bilateral strategic partnership since its establishment in 2013.

In ASEAN, Indonesia is Vietnam’s third largest trading partner and Vietnam ranks fourth among the top countries trading with Indonesia, with bilateral trade value increasing over time, from $9 billion in 2019 to nearly $14 billion in 2023.

The two presidents agreed to boost the two-way trade to $15 billion and higher soon through reducing trade barriers and facilitating imports and exports of each other's key products, including rice.

President Thuong asked Indonesia to facilitate the access of Vietnam’s agricultural and Halal products to the Indonesian market, and encourage Indonesian investors to expand investment in Vietnam.

The two sides committed to continue enhancing cooperative efficiency in the traditional fields such as agriculture and fisheries, information and communication, education and training, culture, sports, tourism, defense and security, and maritime.

At the same time, the two countries will expand cooperation in new and potential fields, including smart finance, energy conversion, digital transformation, innovation, and development of electric vehicle and electric battery ecosystems.

In addition, Vietnam and Indonesia will open more direct flights, connect their enterprises and localities, and strengthen people-to-people exchanges.

The two leaders also laid emphasis on the sharing of experiences on transnational crime prevention and affirmed not to allow any individual or organization to use the territory of one country to conduct activities against the other.

The Vietnamese leader emphasized that Vietnam treasures and wishes to further strengthen the traditional relations and strategic partnership with Indonesia on the basis of their historical traditions, similar values and interests, mutual trust and understanding, and common commitments to international law.

President Widodo thanked the warm welcome by Thuong for him and his entourage, as well as for Vietnam’s support for Indonesia when the country took the role as the ASEAN Chair last year.

He affirmed that he values and wishes to further deepen the traditional friendship and cooperation with Vietnam, Indonesia's only strategic partner in ASEAN.

Exchanges of delegations and high-level contacts at all levels have been maintained overtime, most notably of which was the phone talk between Vietnam’s Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and President Widodo in August 2022.

Based on the encouraging cooperation results over the past years, the host and guest emphasized the need to soon bring the strategic partnership between the two countries to a new height.

The Indonesian leader said that more and more Indonesian businesses are interested in investing in Vietnam and hopes that Vietnamese businesses will expand their investment in Indonesia.

Regarding strategic industrial cooperation, President Joko Widodo highly valued investment commitments, especially the one for a $1.2 billion investment to develop an electric vehicle and battery ecosystem for Indonesia by VinFast, a Vietnam-based multinational automotive company founded by Vingroup, one of the largest private conglomerates in Vietnam.  

President Thuong expressed his hope that the Indonesian government would continue to create favorable conditions for the Vietnamese community in Indonesia to live stably, successfully integrate into the host society and contribute to promoting the relationship between the two nations.

The two heads of state also agreed to beef up cooperation in preventing illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

They also discussed regional and international issues of mutual concern, reaffirming the importance of peace, stability, safety, security, and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Vietnam Sea.

After their talks, the two leaders witnessed the exchange of two cooperation documents, including a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on information and communication technology cooperation and another MoU on fisheries cooperation.

By September 2023, Indonesian investors had operated 119 projects worth over $646 million in Vietnam, centering on manufacturing, accommodations, food and beverages, while Vietnam had developed 17 projects valued at $59 million in Indonesia, focusing on commerce, information technology, agriculture and industry. 

Every year, Indonesia provides Vietnam with a number of scholarships in various fields including education, culture and language.

Since their establishment of diplomatic relations on December 30, 1955, Vietnam and Indonesia have seen their bilateral ties developed fruitfully over the past 69 years and they are looking forward to celebrating 70 years of ties next year.

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Vinh Tho - Duy Linh - Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre News

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