Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The friendly relations and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Cambodia have been thriving, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said in a recent interview to the press on the occasion of the 50th founding anniversary of Vietnam-Cambodia diplomatic ties.

He recalled that on June 23, 1967, President Ho Chi Minh sent a message to Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk highlighting the sound development of the two countries’ neighbourly relations and describing the establishment of the bilateral diplomatic relations as a manifestation of their close friendship and fighting solidarity, and a positive factor in maintaining peace in Indochina and Southeast Asia.

The Deputy PM stressed that the official establishment of Vietnam-Cambodia diplomatic ties on June 24, 1967 was a landmark in both countries’ history and opened up a new chapter in the bilateral relations.

He went on to say that the two nations’ faithful solidarity and spirit of mutual assistance are the driving force and the strength for their armies and peoples to gain victory over the Pol Pot genocidal regime, revive Cambodia, and develop the bilateral rapports as strong as nowadays.

The achievements that Vietnam and Cambodia have reaped over the past 50 years are not only the victories in their struggle for national liberation but also the development of bilateral relations in all fields, Minh said.

The political ties continue to strengthen with the regular exchange of high-level delegations and effective operation of important cooperation mechanisms such as the Joint Committee and the conference for cooperation and development of border provinces, along with partnerships between ministries, sectors and people-to-people exchanges.

On the basis of treaties and agreements reached by the two countries’ leaders, relevant agencies and authorities and people of border provinces are actively coordinating to implement the land border demarcation and marker planting. 

So far, the two countries have completed over 84 percent of the workload and are resolved to fulfil the remaining as soon as possible to build a shared border line of peace, friendship, cooperation and sustainable development.

High-ranking officials of both nations have also agreed to continue creating favourable conditions for each other’s expatriates.

Along with political ties, the bilateral economic-trade cooperation has been growing.

Currently, Vietnam has 190 investment projects in Cambodia with total registered capital of 2.89 billion USD, mainly focusing on agriculture and forestry. 

Meanwhile, Cambodia’s investment in Vietnam has reached over 58 million USD in 18 projects.

Two-way trade between Vietnam and Cambodia averaged about 3 billion USD a year in recent years and topped 1.68 billion USD in the first five months of 2017. The countries are targeting 5 billion USD in two-way trade in the following years. 

Over the past few years, Vietnam is the largest source market of Cambodia’s tourism with 960,000 visitors in 2016, making up 19 percent of the total number of international arrivals in Cambodia. The same year, Cambodia ranked 13th among Vietnam’s tourism markets with 212,000 visitors.

Vietnam and Cambodia have also bolstered affiliation to other arenas such as training, culture, health, telecommunication, and people-to-people exchanges. 

On the international arena, the two countries have closely coordinated at regional cooperation mechanisms such as the Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam Triangle Development, Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam (CLMV), and Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS).-VNA