Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh (right) and his Cambodian counterpart Sar Kheng. (Source: VNA)

Vietnam and Cambodia agreed on directions and measures to bolster cooperation between their border provinces and effectively settle arising and complex issues at a meeting in Ho Chi Minh City on October 28.

The eighth meeting on border province cooperation and development was co-chaired by Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Sar Kheng.

It was also attended by Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia Thach Du, Cambodian Ambassador to Vietnam Hul Phany, and representatives of 10 Vietnamese border provinces and nine conjoining localities of Cambodia.

The Deputy PMs reviewed progress in the countries’ relations since the seventh meeting in March 2012, voicing pleasure over the solidification of Vietnam-Cambodia’s traditional amity and comprehensive cooperation, which has contributed to peace, stability, cooperation and development in areas along the shared border.

The two sides have maintained regular delegation exchanges at all levels and cooperation mechanisms, they said, highlighting the success of the 14 th meeting of the countries’ joint committee on economic, cultural and scientific-technological cooperation in HCM City on October 18-19.

Meanwhile, bilateral trade reached 2.3 billion USD in the first eight months of 2015, up 4 percent from a year earlier. Vietnamese businesses are running 172 projects worth 3.61 billion USD in Cambodia, ranking second among 67 countries and territories investing there.

The officials at the meeting applauded joint efforts by the two neighbours’ ministries, sectors and border localities to implement agreements reached at the seventh meeting.

Notably, both sides have worked closely to manage the joint border, boost socio-economic development and improve border residents’ livelihoods while participating in routine and unscheduled meetings, helping resolve emerging incidents, ensuring border security and stability, and enhancing friendship and solidarity between the two peoples.

The Vietnamese and Cambodian border provinces have also offered practical mutual support in road construction, personnel training, high-yield plant variety exchanges and cultural and sports activities.

At the border provinces’ eighth meeting, the officials agreed to tighten connections between their ministries, sectors and localities, actively implement signed agreements, encourage cross-border trading to achieve the target trade revenue of 5 billion USD in the near future and facilitate their investments in the respective countries.

The two sides will also step up mutual assistance in agro-forestry-fishery industries, healthcare and personnel training along with upgrades to border traffic and commercial facilities.

They agreed to hasten land border demarcation and marker planting and pledged not to allow hostile forces use their respective territories to sabotage the other nation’s security and stability. Meanwhile, Vietnam and Cambodia will strengthen collaboration and prevent transnational crimes along their shared border.

The nations will increase people-to-people exchanges and border resident education, especially among the youth, about their time-honoured amity, solidarity and cooperation.

Concluding the function, the two sides issued a joint communiqué. The ninth meeting on border province cooperation and development is set to take place in Cambodia in 2016.-VNA