General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong host​ed Malaysian King Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah in Hanoi on September 6, 2013 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and Malaysia has been developing fruitfully, contributing to benefiting their people, and promoting peace; stability and prosperity in the region and the world, a Vietnamese official has said.

In an exclusive interview to Vietnam News Agency on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of Vietnam-Malaysia diplomatic ties, Vietnamese Ambassador to Malaysia Le Quy Quynh affirmed the two countries are enjoying a strong development in their bilateral relations across fields, from politics-diplomacy, defence-security, the economy, to culture exchange.

Since the two nations’ leaders agreed to upgrade the relations to Strategic Partnership during then Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit to Malaysia in August 2015, Vietnam and Malaysia have witnessed leaps in bilateral diplomatic ties on the basis of mutual trust, he stated.

The two sides have regularly maintained the exchange of high-level delegations through all channels of party, state, government and parliament as well as people-to-people exchange.

Leaders of both nations have always paid due attention to promoting and maintaining cooperation mechanisms.

To concretise the Joint Statement on the framework for the Vietnam-Malaysia Strategic Partnership, the first Vietnam-Malaysia Senior Officials' Strategic Dialogue took place in Hanoi in April 2016.

The bilateral defence-security bond has also seen rapid expansion, which resulted from many visits of officials from the two countries’ defence ministries, including those made by Vietnamese defence Minister Ngo Xuan Lich in October 2016 and by Chief of the General Staff and Deputy Defence Minister Phan Van Giang to Malaysia in March 2018.

The two countries have also effectively cooperated in education and tourism. Many Vietnamese students have received scholarships to pursue training courses in Malaysia. Malaysia is among the top ten biggest Asian tourism markets of Vietnam, with about 400,000 Malaysians visiting Vietnam in 2017.

Quynh stressed that trade and investment between Vietnam and Malaysia is one of the bright spots in their bilateral relations, affirming that there is great potential for the two sides to boost links in this field.

Malaysia is the eighth largest trade partner of Vietnam, while Vietnam is the 12th biggest trade partners of Malaysia. Two-way trade in 2017 hit 10.068 billion USD, up 19.06 percent year-on-year.  The two countries are striving to lift their trade to 15 billion USD by 2020 under the Action Plan for 2017-2019.

Regarding investment, Malaysia ranks seventh among 125 countries and territories investing in Vietnam. By the end of December 2017, Malaysia has nearly 600 investment projects worth 12.178 billion USD.

To further promote their trade and investment bond, the two sides launched the Malaysia-Vietnam Chamber of Commerce in Malaysia in January 2017, which works to connect enterprises of the two countries, thus creating more business and investment opportunities between the two sides.

In term of multilateral cooperation, the two countries are member of key cooperation mechanisms such ASEAN, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, the United Nations, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Quynh said.

They shared viewpoints in many issues such as the central role played by ASEAN in the regional security architecture, the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and the necessity to accelerate the early signing of the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), he added.

In a recent ceremony held by the Embassy to celebrate the 45th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries, the Malaysian side applauded fruitful achievements in the bilateral relations, expressing the belief that the relationship will be strengthened in the time ahead, for the sake of the two countries’ people as well as for peace, stability and prosperity in the region and the world, Quynh said.-VNA