Vietnam-Indonesia cultural exchange programme to mark 60th anniversary of two countries' diplomatic relations (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnamese leaders sent messages of congratulations to their Indonesian counterparts on December 30 on the 60th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic relationship.

President Truong Tan Sang and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung conveyed their greetings to Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

The same day, Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan extended congratulations to Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs cabled similar message to Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi.

Vietnam and Indonesia established diplomatic ties on December 30, 1955 at the General Consulate level, which was lifted to the Embassy level ten years later.

During Indonesian President Megawati’s visit to Vietnam in 2003, the two sides inked a comprehensive partnership agreement, paving the way for a future all-around cooperation framework.

In September 2011, on the occasion of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit to the country, two nations agreed to upgrade their ties to a strategic partnership, which was realised in June, 2013 when President Truong Tan Sang toured Indonesia.

In October 2013, the two countries’ Foreign Ministers signed an action plan for implementing the strategic partnership mechanism from 2014-2018.

Two-way trade increased to 5.4 billion USD in 2014 from only 1.6 billion in 2006, achieving the turnover target one year ahead of schedule. The figure is expected to hit 10 billion USD in 2018.

Indonesia is currently the four largest trade partner of Vietnam.

Apart from trade links, connections in other sectors also recorded stellar results. The average number of Indonesian visitors to Vietnam reaches 80,000 people every year while those from Vietnam to Indonesia number around 50,000.

Vietnam and Indonesia are maintaining two cooperation mechanisms: the Joint Cooperation Committee on Science and Technology and the Bilateral Cooperation Committee, which contribute remarkably to stepping up bilateral affiliations.-VNA