The upcoming state visit of President Truong Tan Sang to Indonesia from June 27-28 is a historic development in the relationship between Vietnam and Indonesia, Vietnamese Ambassador to the country Nguyen Xuan Thuy said in an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency.

Ambassador Thuy said Vietnam and Indonesia, sharing many similarities in tradition, culture and history, have nurtured a traditional friendship for more than half a century. In particular, since 2003, the two sides have reached a number of important agreements, laying a firm foundation for the development of their friendship and comprehensive cooperation.

He noted that the two countries signed a framework agreement on their friendly and comprehensive cooperation heading to the 21 st century during President Megawati Soekarno’s visit to Vietnam in 2003. The two countries also agreed to promote bilateral ties to strategic partnership and signed a joint plan of actions for 2012-2015 period during Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit to Indonesia in 2011.

During this visit, the two sides are expected to lift their ties to strategic partnership, the ambassador said, adding that leaders of the two countries will also witness the signing of a series of agreements in various realms, including extradition, legal assistance, energy, finance and agriculture.

The ambassador affirmed that the two countries have established close cooperation and deep mutual trust, while setting up a cooperation and coordination mechanism not only within the ASEAN but also in international and regional institutions and forums such as the United Nations, APEC, ASEM and FEALAC.

Economic cooperation between the two countries has also yield positive results with two-way trade reaching more than 4.6 billion USD in both 2011 and 2012 despite the gloomy global economic situation. In the first six month of this year, the two countries enjoyed a two-way trade of about 2.1 billion USD, he added.

Vietnam exports to Indonesia mainly rice, telephones and spare parts, steels and iron products and crude oil, while importing from the country papers, vegetable oil, machineries and equipments, computers, electronic products and chemicals, he noted.

Besides, the two sides are stepping up their cooperation in defence, negotiations on exclusive economic zone and education, he said, adding that the direct air route between Ho Chi Minh City and Jakarta opened recently by the national-flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has has contributed to strengthening tourism and trade links between the two countries.

Discussing future cooperation prospects between the two sides, Ambassador Thuy said Indonesia has developed the energy industry for a long time and can help Vietnam in this field.

There are also rooms for both countries to boost cooperation in agriculture, contributing to ensuring food security and poverty reduction, he added.

The ambassador said both Vietnam and Indonesia have world famous tourism sites, which will facilitate their tourism and cultural links.

According to the diplomat, in order to raise the efficiency of their cooperation, Vietnam and Indonesia should strengthen the existing institutions and mechanisms such as Cooperation Committees and Joint Committees.

All ministries and sectors of both countries should also actively implement the reached agreements and cooperation programmes, supporting each other and design preferential policies for businesses of both sides, he said, adding that enterprises of the two countries should also take initiative in seeking investment opportunities in each other’s markets.-VNA