Vietnam, Indonesia seek ways to promote bilateral ties hinh anh 1Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son and his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi co-chaired the fourth meeting of the Joint Committee on Bilateral Cooperation. (Photo: VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) - Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son and his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi on July 20 co-chaired the fourth meeting of the Joint Committee on Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC-4) in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Welcoming Son to the country, Marsudi said the visit is significant especially as the two countries have reopened their doors following COVID-19 restrictions, which provides an opportunity to exchange measures to promote cooperation in all fields, jointly recover and promote socio-economic growth, for the benefit and interests of the two peoples, towards the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Vietnam-Indonesia Strategic Partnership (2013-2023).

Son said the holding of the JCBC-4 in the in-person format showed both sides’ determination to advance the strategic partnership.

He congratulated Indonesia on its achievements in pandemic containment and socio-economic development and expressed confidence that the country will succeed in its role as President of G20 in 2022.

The minister also pledged Vietnam’s support for Indonesia when it holds the Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2023.

The two sides agreed on the assessment that the relationship between Vietnam and Indonesia is deepening effectively, especially since the establishment of the strategic partnership in 2013. Despite COVID-19 impacts, the two sides flexibly maintained high-level contacts and exchanges, both face-to-face and online, contributing to increasing trust and political ties.

Economic and trade cooperation has grown tremendously, with two-way trade in 2021 reaching 11.5 billion USD, up 40% compared to 2020 and exceeding the target of 10 billion USD set by the two sides in the action programme to implement the strategic partnership for the period of 2019-2023. In the first six months of 2022, bilateral trade reached 6.9 billion USD, up 24% over the same period in 2021.

Security-defence cooperation has also seen positive development. The Joint Vision Statement on Defence Cooperation for the period 2017-2022 has been well implemented and cooperation mechanisms between the two defence ministries have been regularly maintained.

Partnership in other spheres such as agriculture, fisheries, energy, aviation, culture, education-training and tourism have been promoted, thus helping to deepen the bilateral friendship and cooperation.

The ministers agreed to increase meetings at all levels, maintain and utilise existing cooperation mechanisms, and encourage the resumption of art and people-to-people exchanges, especially in 2023 when the two nations mark the 10th anniversary of the strategic partnership.

The two sides also consented to strengthen defence cooperation, focusing on the implementation of the joint vision statement on defence cooperation for 2017-2022, and share information and cooperate in fighting trans-national crimes like terrorism, drug and wildlife trafficking, and high-tech crime.

To raise bilateral trade to 15 billion USD by 2028, they concurred to soon organise the 8th meeting of the joint committee on commercial, scientific and technological cooperation, facilitate the operations of their businesses, and seek opportunities to expand and diversify investment, particularly in fisheries, infrastructure, renewable energy and digital transformation.

Son suggested the two countries coordinate to cope with the risk of a global food crisis, and called on Indonesia to ease trade remedies imposed on Vietnamese exports, soon sign a memorandum of understanding on bilateral trade in rice for the next four years, and provide technical assistance and create favourable conditions for Halal products from Vietnam to enter Indonesia.

The ministers agreed to encourage airlines to increase flights and consider opening new routes linking tourist sites, while promoting mutual understanding and the exchange of culture, trade and tourism between localities.

Regarding regional and international issues of shared concern, they highly valued coordination between the two countries at multilateral organisations and forums, contributing to strengthening solidarity within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and consolidating its centrality, and maintaining peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world at large.

The two sides agreed to enhance their coordination and mutual support within ASEAN, the United Nations (UN) and other regional and international mechanisms.

They also reiterated their support for maintaining solidarity and the principles reached by ASEAN regarding the East Sea issue in line with international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS).

Right after the meeting, the two sides inked the minutes of JCBC-4 and agreed to organise the fifth meeting in Vietnam in 2024 or 2025./.