Myanmar State Counsellor’s Vietnam visit to tighten bilateral ties hinh anh 1Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi (R) and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc met on the sidelines of ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in January (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The upcoming visit to Vietnam from April 19-20 by Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi is expected to strengthen bilateral ties and tighten the Vietnam-Myanmar comprehensive cooperative partnership.

This is the first official visit to Vietnam by Aung San Suu Kyi, who is also Myanmar’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the President’s Office.

The visit, made at the invitation of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, takes place in a context of increased political trust and cooperation between the two nations.

Vietnam and Myanmar set up diplomatic ties on May 28, 1975. However, the bilateral relationship was formed earlier. In 1947, when fighting French colonialists, Vietnam opened an information agency in Myanmar’s Yangon, which was elevated to a Governmental representative office in 1948. Myanmar’s Prime Minister U Nu visited Vietnam in 1954, while Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh visited Myanmar in 1958.

Despite its own difficulties, Myanmar whole-heartedly supported Vietnam during the struggle for national independence and reunification

The two countries elevated their ties to a comprehensive cooperative partnership during a State visit to Myanmar by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong in August 2017.

They have supported each other at sub-regional, regional and international forums such as the United Nations, ASEAN, Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam cooperation, Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) and the Greater Mekong Sub-region.

Economic, trade and investment ties have been maintained in agriculture, fisheries, finance-banking, aviation, telecommunications, oil and gas exploration and exploitation, mining, power device production and automobile manufacturing and assembly.

Bilateral trade hit 828.3 million USD in 2017, up 51 percent from 2016. Vietnam is the 7th biggest foreign investor in Myanmar with 70 projects worth nearly 2 billion USD.

During the visit to Myanmar by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in August 2017, the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and Myanmar’s Ministry of Commerce signed a memorandum of understanding on trade cooperation.

The two countries have regularly held meetings of the joint committee on bilateral cooperation and the joint sub-committee on trade. Trade fairs have also been held in each country to introduce products and attract investors.

In addition, bilateral security and defence relations have been tightened. Based on a defence cooperation agreement signed in 2011, the two armies have sped up all-level delegation exchanges and boosted cooperation in border management, and illegal migration and smuggling prevention.-VNA