July 21, 2022
JAKARTA — Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn and Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi on Wednesday co-chaired the fourth meeting of the Joint Committee on Bilateral Cooperation held in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Welcoming Sơn to the country, the Indonesian foreign minister said the visit is significant especially as the two countries have reopened following COVID-19 restrictions, which provides an opportunity to exchange measures to promote cooperation in all fields, jointly recover and promote socio-economic growth, for the benefit and interests of the two peoples, towards the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Việt Nam-Indonesia Strategic Partnership (2013-23).
Foreign minister Sơn said the holding of the bilateral cooperation meeting serves as a strong indication for the two sides to advance ties.
Sơn congratulated Indonesia for its achievements in pandemic containment and socio-economic development and expressed confidence that the country will succeed in its role as President of G20.
He also pledged Việt Nam’s support for Indonesia when it holds the Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2023.
The two sides agreed on the assessment that the relationship between Việt Nam and Indonesia is deepening effectively, especially since the establishment of the strategic partnership in 2013. Despite COVID-19 impacts, the two sides flexibly maintained high-level contacts and exchanges, both face-to-face and online, contributing to increasing trust and political ties.
Economic and trade cooperation has grown tremendously, with two-way trade in 2021 reaching US$11.5 billion, up 40 per cent compared to 2020 and exceeding the target of $10 billion set by the two sides in the action programme to implement the strategic partnership for the period of 2019-23. In the first six months of 2022, bilateral trade reached $6.9 billion, up 24 per cent over the same period in 2021.
Security-defence cooperation is also a highlight in bilateral ties. The Joint Vision Statement on Defence Cooperation for the period 2017-22 has been well implemented and cooperation mechanisms between the two defence ministries are regularly maintained, and the two sides also pledged to further cooperate in information sharing and coordinate in the fight against transnational crimes such as terrorism, drugs, illegal wildlife trade and transportation, and high-tech crimes.
Cooperation in other important fields such as agriculture, fisheries, energy, aviation, culture, education training and tourism are given due attention, contributing to deepening friendly relations and cooperation between Việt Nam and Indonesia.
In order to promote comprehensive cooperation in the future, the two sides agreed to continue to coordinate to strengthen exchanges and contacts at all levels; maintain the effectiveness of existing cooperation mechanisms; encourage the resumption of art troupes and people-to-people exchanges, especially in 2023 when the two countries celebrate the 10th anniversary of the establishment of a strategic partnership.
To realise the goal of two-way trade reaching $15 billion in 2028, an agreement was reached to soon organise the 8th meeting of the Joint Committee on Trade and Science and Technology, create favourable conditions for enterprises of the two countries to do business, conduct import and export activities; seek opportunities to expand and diversify investment, especially in potential fields such as fisheries, infrastructure construction, renewable energy, and digital transformation.
Minister Sơn said that they need to work together to handle the risk of a global food crisis, and suggested that Indonesia limit the application of trade remedies to Vietnamese exports; soon sign a memorandum of understanding on bilateral trade cooperation in the field of rice for the next four years; at the same time providing technical support for and facilitating the imports of Halal products of Vietnamese origin into Indonesia.
The two ministers also agreed to encourage airlines to increase flight frequency and consider opening new routes connecting tourist destinations between the two countries, advance cooperation to enhance understanding, cultural exchange, trade and tourism between the two countries’ localities, especially sister localities, along with student exchange.
Discussing regional and international issues of mutual concern, the diplomats highly appreciated the coordination at multilateral organisations and forums, contributing to strengthening solidarity and the central role of ASEAN, the maintenance of peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the region as well as in the world.
They agreed to continue boosting coordination and mutual support within the framework of ASEAN, the United Nations and other regional and international mechanisms.
Việt Nam and Indonesia also reaffirmed their support for the upholding of ASEAN’s unity and agreed-upon principles in the South China Sea issue, in accordance with international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). — VNS