Vietnamese and Malaysian leaders have vowed to raise their trade turnover to 11 billion USD by 2015 by encouraging and facilitating businesses to enhance mutual trade and investment.

The pledge was made by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his visiting Malaysian counterpart, Najib Tun Razak, during talks held in Hanoi on April 4.

In 2013, the two countries enjoyed a year-on-year increase of 67 percent in trade. Malaysia ranks eighth among foreign investors in Vietnam, with 451 projects and over 10 billion USD in registered capital.

The two leaders expressed pleasure with rice trading in recent years, with 60 percent of Malaysia ’s rice import coming from Vietnam.

They agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on rice trading soon, while accelerating cooperation in other fields such as labour, agriculture, oil and gas, education and law.

The Vietnamese leader hailed Malaysia as one of Vietnam’s leading partners in terms of labour, as over 80,000 Vietnamese workers are working in the country.

They agreed to assign relevant agencies to revise the 2003 MoU on the recruitment of Vietnamese workers to reduce labour disputes and ensure that workers’ legitimate rights are protected.

During their talks, PM Dung one again conveyed his deep condolences to PM Najib, the Malaysian government and people and, most importantly, the families of passengers who were on the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

For his part, Najib expressed sincere gratitude and appreciation for Vietnam ’s effort in searching for the missing plane.

At the talks, the two leaders praised the connection between Vietnam and Malaysia in defence and security, and agreed to accelerate the signing of documents establishing joint patrols, a hotline between their navies, and an MoU on cooperation in trans-national crime fighting.

The Malaysian leader affirmed that his country will settle the fate of Vietnamese fishermen being detained in Malaysia as early as possible.

Both leaders were unanimous about holding the fifth session of the Vietnam-Malaysia Joint Committee on economics and science and technology in Malaysia to realise signed agreements.

In addition, they discussed international and regional issues of common concern, pledging to continue close collaboration at forums, as well as cooperation with other ASEAN countries for building a strong and united ASEAN Community by 2015 and a vision beyond 2015.

Regarding the East Sea, the leaders stressed the importance of maintaining peace, stability, freedom, security and safety of navigation and aviation in the East Sea.

They said they support ASEAN’s stance manifested in the organisation’s six-principle declaration on the East Sea, settling disputes by peaceful measures, respecting international law, particularly the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, fully and strictly implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and looking toward the early conclusion of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

They also pledged further partnership to promote the organisation’s central role in issues on regional peace and security, including the East Sea issue.

Mentioning the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, they vowed to closely work and support each other to speed up the finalisation of negotiation.

The two PMs agreed to work to bring bilateral relations to a new height - a Strategic Partnership for the benefit of their peoples, and peace, stability, cooperation and development in the Asia-Pacific region and the world.

They said they will assign their foreign ministries in collaboration with other relevant ministries to discuss the detailed content of the strategic partnership to submit to the government leaders in the coming time.

PM Najib invited PM Dung to visit Malaysia, and the later accepted the invitation with pleasure and assigned the Foreign Ministry to arrange an appropriate time for the visit.

The two sides issued a Joint Statement on the visit after the talks.

They witnessed the signing of an MoU on agricultural cooperation between the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Malaysian Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry.

At a joint press briefing after the talks, PM Dung said they discussed a number of bilateral and multilateral cooperation fields of common concern.

Once again, PM Najib expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the Vietnamese government and people and PM Dung for their active and timely help for Malaysia in the search for the lost aircraft.

He affirmed that Vietnam’s help was useful, reflecting the fine friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and Malaysia.-VNA