Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (R) and Brunei’s Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Lim Jock Seng (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam and Brunei committed to lifting two-way trade to 500 million USD by 2025 at the first meeting of their Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation in Hanoi on February 27.

The meeting was co-chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Brunei’s Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Lim Jock Seng.

Both sides expressed their satisfaction with the development of Vietnam-Brunei friendship and comprehensive cooperation since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties 25 years ago (February 29) and spoke highly of the outcomes of President Tran Dai Quang’s visit to Brunei last August.

They agreed to continue facilitating all-level visits and people-to-people exchange to raise mutual understanding and trust.

Lim informed Minh that the Sultan of Brunei will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit to be held in the central city of Da Nang this year.

The two sides proposed measures to enhance partnership across the fields of economy-trade-investment, national defence-security, oil and gas, agro-fisheries, culture-tourism, education-training, and labour.

They concurred with promoting experience sharing via seminars, investment, trade connectivity as well as extend joint work to survey, exploit, process and distribute oil and gas.

Minh asked the Brunei side to assist Vietnam in training and recognise Halal certification agencies in Vietnam.

On defence-security, the two countries will continue extensively implementing existing agreements and mechanisms while expanding ties among armed forces, especially between the navy and coast guards and broadening collaboration in search and rescue at sea, training, and the fight against terrorism and drug.

Both sides pledged to consider signing agreements on fighting trans-national crimes, judicial assistance in criminal matters, extradition and transfer of sentenced persons.

Minh highly valued Brunei’s settlement of fishermen issue over the past time. The Brunei Minister thanked Vietnamese experts for helping Brunei with rice cultivation and agro-fisheries and vowed to direct concerned agencies to discuss how to enhance bilateral labour cooperation.

The two ministers debated the organisation of seminars, exchange of delegations, culture and arts and people-to-people exchange to introduce respective traditional culture and people on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.

They promised to continue mutual support at regional and global forums, especially in ASEAN and the United Nations, maintaining ASEAN’s central role in the regional security architecture as well as intensifying ASEAN ties with dialogue countries, including ASEAN-China ties.

They committed to the maintenance and promotion of peace, security, stability, maritime and aviation safety and freedom in the East Sea, urging parties concerned to exercise restraint and refrain from the threat of force or use of force, fully respect diplomatic and legal process, settle disputes by peaceful means in line with basic principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Both sides reaffirmed their support to the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and the early formulation of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

Brunei supports Vietnam’s successful organisation of the APEC Summit 2017, Lim affirmed.

The second meeting of this kind is scheduled for 2019 in Brunei.

In the afternoon the same day, Lim paid a courtesy call to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.-VNA