Vietnam, Cambodia aim for $20 billion in trade, boost cooperation in defence, transport: PMs

Vietnam remains the leading ASEAN investor in Cambodia, with 205 active projects totalling a registered capital of $2.95 billion.

Viet Nam News

Viet Nam News



Vietnamese Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính (right) and Cambodian counterpart Samdech Hun Manet had talks in Hanoi on Monday. PHOTO: VIET NAM NEWS

December 12, 2023

HANOI – Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính on Monday had talks in Hà Nội with Cambodian counterpart Samdech Hun Manet, who was on a two-day visit to Việt Nam, also his first to an ASEAN country.

PM Chính congratulated the significant achievements that the Cambodian government had attained, expressing confidence that under the leadership of PM Hun Manet, Cambodia would continue to achieve new milestones in the country’s development, including the goal of turning Cambodia into an upper middle-income country by 2030 and a high-income country by 2050.

PM Chính underscored Việt Nam’s consistent policy of valuing and prioritising the “good neighbourliness, traditional friendship, comprehensive and sustainable cooperation” between Việt Nam and Cambodia.

He also highlighted the historical solidarity and mutual support between the two countries during the struggle for independence and in the current nation-building and development efforts.

The Vietnamese Government leader conveyed his greetings to the Cambodian leadership, including Samdech Techo Hun Sen.

PM Hun Manet also praised Việt Nan on its significant domestic and foreign achievements, contributing to enhancing Việt Nam’s role and position regionally and globally. He expressed confidence that Việt Nam would successfully carry out its industrialisation and modernisation goals, achieving the set targets by 2030, the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Communist Party of Việt Nam.

PM Hun Manet stressed that his official visit aimed to inherit the good traditions and promote the traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries to new heights.

He sincerely thanked the Vietnamese army and people for assisting Cambodia in overthrowing the Pol Pot genocidal regime and appreciated the longstanding solidarity between the two nations during the anti-colonial and anti-imperialist struggles in the past.

PM Hun Manet conveyed the regards of former Prime Minister Hun Sen to PM Chính and the senior leadership of Việt Nam.

Both leaders have expressed satisfaction with the positive developments in Việt Nam-Cambodia relations in recent times. The political relationship has strengthened, with regular exchanges at various levels. Cooperation in security and defence continues to be enhanced. Two-way trade has seen significant progress, with growth rate averaging 20 per cent from 2015 to 2022, surpassing US$10 billion in 2022.

Việt Nam remains the leading ASEAN investor in Cambodia, with 205 active projects totaling registered capital of $2.95 billion. In the first nine months of 2023, more than 640,000 Vietnamese tourists visited Cambodia, and around 250,000 Cambodian tourists visited Việt Nam.

They have agreed to increase exchanges and high-level meetings, leverage the effectiveness of important cooperation mechanisms between the two governments.

Both sides aim to enhance connections and exchanges between youth and young leaders of both countries. They will coordinate to organise practical activities to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the victory over the Pol Pot regime (January 7, 1979 – 2024), with Cambodia sending its government leaders to attend the commemoration ceremony on January 7.

Regarding defence and security cooperation, Việt Nam and Cambodia concurred to continue strengthening this crucial pillar to contribute to maintaining a peaceful and stable environment in each country.

They reaffirmed the principle of not allowing any hostile forces to use the territory of one country against the other. Both sides will continue to effectively implement cooperation plans between the two defence ministries and the public security/internal affairs ministries, closely coordinate in border management, preventing and combating cross-border crimes, and cooperating in addressing non-traditional security challenges.

They welcomed the early holding of the tripartite friendly border exchanges between Việt Nam, Laos, and Cambodia at the ministerial level.

The Cambodian side affirmed the importance of continuing to prioritise and cooperate in the search, retrieval, and repatriation of the remains of Vietnamese voluntary soldiers and experts who lost their lives in Cambodia.

In terms of economic, trade, and investment cooperation, the two Prime Ministers agreed to support each other in building independent, self-reliant, internationally integrated, and efficient economies. They will strengthen economic connections, including infrastructure and policy framework connections, promote bilateral trade, especially border trade, and regional economic development cooperation.

The goal is to achieve a bilateral trade turnover of $20 billion in the near future. Both sides agreed to encourage and facilitate the business activities of enterprises from both countries.

With regard to border cooperation, Cambodian and Vietnamese leaders applauded the efforts of relevant agencies on both sides to continue maintaining, consolidating, and developing peaceful and stable border areas.

They agreed to continue coordinating to expedite the demarcation of the remaining 16 per cent of border line between the two countries. The two sides will continually enhance the effectiveness of cooperation between functional forces and localities along the common border.

In other areas of cooperation, PM Chính and PM Hun Manet agreed to strengthen the sharing of experiences, training, and capacity building for officials of both countries.

Labour, transportation connectivity, including the connection of highways and the frequency of direct flights between major cities of both countries, and tourism linkages – including the cooperation with Laos to boost the tourism packages under the “One Journey, Three Destinations” initiative, are other areas of cooperation.

On this occasion, PM Chính also thanked the Cambodian Government for continuing to pay attention to and create favourable conditions for Vietnamese-origin people to live and do business stably and legally in Cambodia, integrate well into the local community and serve as a bridge of friendship between the two countries.

In the discussions on regional and international issues, the two leaders stressed the importance of maintaining peace, security, and stability in the region, including solidarity, a common stance, and the central role of ASEAN in addressing regional security issues, including the East Sea (known internationally as the South China Sea) issue.

They affirmed their commitment to close coordination, mutual support of each other’s positions at regional and international forums, efforts to build the ASEAN Community, to enhance the cooperation between the three countries of Việt Nam, Cambodia, and Laos, including the effective implementation of agreements reached at the High-Level Meeting between the Communist Party of Việt Nam, the Cambodian People’s Party, and the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party.

They also supported Laos in fulfilling its role as the ASEAN 2024 Chair and AIPA 2024.

The leaders committed to promoting the development of the Cambodia-Laos-Việt Nam Development Triangle and the expanded Mekong Sub-region to bridge the development gap.

The two countries also pledged to cooperate in the sustainable management and use of water resources in the Mekong River.

Following their talks, the two PMs witnessed the signing of three cooperation documents: a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the fields of science, technology, and innovation between the Ministry of Science and Technology of Việt Nam and the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation of Cambodia; a MoU on cooperation between the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce; and a MoU on cooperation between the Diplomatic Academy of Việt Nam and Cambodia’s National Institute of Diplomacy and International Relations.

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