Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong (Photo: VNA

Hanoi (VNA) – The visit to Cambodia by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and President Nguyen Phu Trong is an important opportunity for the two sides to promote their bilateral ties.

Vietnam and Cambodia established diplomatic relations on June 24, 1967. The two neighbouring countries stood side by side during past struggles against colonialists and the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime, and have supported each other in national construction and defence.

Both countries have pursued a foreign policy of independence, self-reliance and multilateralisation and diversification of relations.

They have also attached importance to the bilateral relationship under the motto “friendly neighbourliness, traditional friendship and comprehensive, sustainable, long-term cooperation,” and on the principles of respecting each other’s independence and territorial integrity, not interfering in internal affairs, not using or threatening to use force, not allowing any political and military forces to use their territory to sabotage the other country, equal and mutually beneficial cooperation, and handling all issues between the two countries peacefully.

Despite regional and global uncertainties, the Vietnam-Cambodia relationship has made important developments, becoming a crucial factor to building a peaceful and sustainable environment to spur development and ensure independence and sovereignty in each country.

Over the years, the two sides have maintained and made effective use of cooperation mechanisms, increased the exchange of visits and meetings and signed many documents serving as a foundation for bilateral cooperation.

They coordinated to organise various activities marking the 40th anniversary of the victory of Vietnam’s Southwest border defence war and the joint victory over the genocidal regime in Cambodia (January 7, 1979).

The two sides have also increased people-to-people exchanges and paid attention to raising public awareness of preserving and upholding the Vietnam-Cambodia solidarity and friendship.

Apart from implementing agreements on national defence and security collaboration, the two countries have maintained negotiations and cooperation to address outstanding issues regarding land border demarcation and marker planting, the legal status of Vietnamese-Cambodians and the search for and repatriation of remains of Vietnamese voluntary soldiers and experts who died in Cambodia. In 2018, the remains of 690 Vietnamese soldiers and experts were brought back to Vietnam.
The two countries have done 84 percent of the workload in land border demarcation and are conducting negotiations towards signing a document to legalise the completed workload while seeking measures to early complete the remaining work.

Vietnam and Cambodia have maintained mechanisms to share information about regional and international matters, and coordinated at multilateral forums, especially within the United Nations, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Mekong Sub-region cooperation mechanisms.

Bilateral economic and trade ties have also made big strides. With 210 projects valued at more than 3 billion USD, Vietnam has become one of the five biggest investors in Cambodia. Vietnamese investment focused on agriculture, banking, telecom-IT, industrial production, processing-manufacturing, commerce business and healthcare.

In 2018, eight new Vietnamese projects were licensed while four existing projects increased their investment, with accumulated capital hitting 33.8 million USD.

Meanwhile, Cambodia has run 19 projects worth 63.42 million USD in Vietnam, focusing on agriculture, forestry, fishery and commerce.

Two-way trade stood at 4.68 billion USD in 2018, up 23.76 percent against 2017. Of the amount, Vietnam’s exports were valued at 3.74 billion USD, up 34.98 percent and imports were worth about 963 million USD, up 6.46 percent year-on-year. Bilateral trade is expected to reach 5 billion USD by 2020.

Vietnam is the second largest source market of tourists to Cambodia. In October 2018, about 500,000 Vietnamese holidaymakers visited the country, while 222,000 Cambodian tourists flocked to Vietnam in 2017.

The two countries have also stepped up partnerships in education, agriculture, forestry, fishery, transport, electricity and mining.

Collaboration between ministries, agencies and organisations of the two countries, as well as people-to-people exchanges, especially at border localities, has also been enhanced. -VNA