PM’s official visit aims to bolster partnership with Myanmar hinh anh 1PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc will pay an official visit to Myanmar from December 16 – 18. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc will pay an official visit to Myanmar from December 16 – 18 at the invitation of Myanmar President U Win Myint.

His trip to the country affirms that Vietnam highly values the comprehensive cooperative partnership with Myanmar, and wants to step up bilateral collaboration in the fields of trade, investment and security – defence.

Bilateral ties have unceasingly developed

Vietnam and Myanmar have enjoyed a sound traditional friendship, the foundation of which was laid by President Ho Chi Minh and Hero Aung San.

Myanmar was one of the first Southeast Asian countries to set up friendly ties with Vietnam. In 1947, Vietnam established its first liaison office in Yangon. The two sides agreed to upgrade the liaison office to an information and propaganda office in 1948, and to Consulate General in 1957. The two countries then officially set up their diplomatic ties on May 28, 1975.

Sharing a multitude of similarities in history and culture, Vietnam and Myanmar stood shoulder-by-shoulder and gave whole-hearted support to each other during the national struggle for independence in the past and the national construction nowadays.

Their comprehensive cooperative partnership, established in August 2017, has been fortified, particularly the political trust has been consolidated through party, state, parliamentary, and people-to-people exchange channels.  

During a visit by State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi to Vietnam in 2018, the two countries’ leaders issued a joint statement expressing satisfaction at the positive progress in bilateral cooperation in past years.

The defence relations have been deepened, with the effective implementation of signed agreements in multilateral and bilateral frameworks and the exchange of military delegations at all levels. The two sides are expanding cooperation to training, military medicine, search and rescue activities, sport exchange, information sharing, military technical technologies, among others.

Vietnam and Myanmar have also intensified security cooperation, with the signing of  the bilateral agreement on cooperation in prevention of crimes and fighting transnational crimes during the 3rd Ministerial Meeting on Security Cooperation in February this year.

Furthermore, the two nations have worked closely at regional and international forums such as the ASEAN, the United Nations, CLMV meetings, Ayeyawady- Chao Phraya- Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy Summit, and the East West Economic Corridor conferences.

Economic and trade cooperation – a highlight in bilateral ties

Both nations have enjoyed a thriving economic and trade cooperation, with two-way trade hitting 859.9 million USD in 2018, up 3.8 percent from the previous year, and 790 million USD during January-October in 2019, a year-on-year surge of 9.3 percent.

Vietnam has sustained its position as the 7th largest foreign investor in Myanmar with nearly 2.2 billion USD invested in the nation. Major Vietnamese investors in the country are Viettel, FPT, Eurowindow, and Dong A Group.

Regarding agriculture, both sides are working toward the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on agricultural cooperation to improve and increase value of farm produce such as maize, rice, and bean.

The two countries have also promoted transport cooperation by carrying out a wide range of transport projects in the East-West Economic Corridor, and schemes to connect land roads and coastal waterways that help facilitate trade and tourism cooperation and people-to-people exchange among regional countries.

The tourism cooperation plan during 2016-2018 has been on the right track as well. Besides launching direct flights in 2011, the two countries have organised many tourism fairs, and engaged in joint tourism cooperation activities.

Several localities of the two countries have established ties, such as Hanoi-Nay Pyi Taw, Da Nang-Mandaly and Ho Chi Minh City-Yangon. /.