Hanoi (VNA) – President Tran Dai Quang on August 31 sent a letter of congratulations to Malaysian King Sultan Muhammad V on the country’s 61st National Day (August 31, 1957).

On the same day, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc cabled a similar letter to his Malaysian counterpart Tun Dr. Mahathir Bin Mohamad while Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh also congratulated Malaysia Foreign Minister Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah on the occasion.

Vietnam and Malaysia set up diplomatic relations on March 30, 1973 and lifted the ties to a Strategic Partnership in 2015.

Over the past 45 years, the bilateral relations have been strongly developed across multiple fields, including politics-diplomacy, defence-security, economy, and cultural exchange.

Two-way trade in 2017 topped 10 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 19.06 percent, of which Vietnam exported 4.2 billion USD worth of products to Malaysia and imported goods worth over 5.8 billion USD from Malaysia. Both sides are striving to increase trade value to 15 billion USD by 2020 under the Vietnam-Malaysia Action Plan in 2017-2019.

Malaysia is now the 8th largest trade partner of Vietnam while Vietnam ranks 12th among Malaysian trade partners. Malaysia is the 7th biggest foreign investor in Vietnam, pumping 12.18 billion USD into 568 FDI projects as of the end of 2017.

Malaysia has been in the top 10 Asian tourism markets of Vietnam, with some 400,000 arrivals in 2017, accounting for 3.48 percent of total foreigners spending holidays in the country in the year. –VNA