Vietnam, Myanmar issue joint statement hinh anh 1Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) meets with Myanmar President U Win Myint in Nay Pyi Taw on December 17 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam and Myanmar have issued a joint statement on strengthening their comprehensive cooperative partnership on the occasion of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s official visit to Myanmar from December 16-18 at the invitation of President U Win Myint.

The joint statement said along with past high-level visits, PM Phuc’s visit continues to affirm the closeness between the two countries as well as the importance that they attach to the bilateral comprehensive cooperative partnership.

According to the joint statement, during the visit, leaders of the two countries expressed satisfaction at the progress in the bilateral comprehensive cooperative partnership, which was established in 2017 during the State visit by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong.

They welcomed the positive outcomes of the Vietnam visit by President U Win Myint in May 2019 on the occasion of his attendance at the 2019 UN Vesak Day celebration in Vietnam. In this spirit, the two sides agreed to maintain the exchange of delegations at all levels and in all channels.

The two sides agreed to work together to organize activities to mark the 45th anniversary of Vietnam-Myanmar diplomatic ties (May 28, 1975-2020), and promote people-to-people exchanges.

The leaders underlined the importance of bilateral cooperative mechanisms, and welcomed the outcomes of the 9th session of the Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation held in Hanoi in March this year, the 10th session of the Joint Sub-committee on trade held in Myanmar in September, and the deputy ministerial-level political consultations between the two Foreign Ministries in Hanoi in November.

The leaders agreed to promote the exchange of delegations and bilateral cooperative mechanisms in defence and security, including the early establishment of a defence policy dialogue at deputy ministerial and deputy chief of general staff levels in 2019.

The two sides agreed to expand cooperation in crime control and non-traditional security issues, and commit to not allowing any individual or organization to use one country’s territory to carry out activities to harm the other country. They asked relevant agencies to early finalise a Memorandum of Understanding on mutual assistance in criminal matters.

The leaders emphasized the importance of enhancing connectivity between the two economies in the context of rising protectionism in the region and the world. They expressed satisfaction at bilateral trade and investment collaboration, with two-way trade reaching 1.05 billion USD in 2019, surpassing the target of 1 billion USD set for 2020. Vietnam is currently the 7th biggest foreign investor in Myanmar with 18 projects worth 2.2 billion USD.

The two sides vowed to double Vietnam’s investment in Myanmar through an enhanced and comprehensive economic cooperation strategy to be built by the end of 2020.       

Toward this goal, the Myanmar side took note of and agreed to early consider Vietnam’s proposal on simplifying customs clearance and quarantine procedures in bilateral trade, reducing the list of imports subject to licence based on the WTO’s relevant rules and regulations, and establishing an industrial park.

Vietnam also asked Myanmar to create favourable conditions for investors of the two countries, particularly in the fields of banking, aviation, telecoms, minerals, information technology, technological services, tourism, consumer good production, insurance, oil and gas services, electricity, health care and education.

The leaders pledged to study the possibility of cooperation in numerous fields, such as cultivation of industrial crops and rice varieties, aquaculture, transport connectivity, information and telecoms technology, tourism, justice, protection of the environment and natural resources, culture-arts-sports, and information and communication.

The two sides agreed to maintain close coordination and cooperation at regional and international forums, especially the ASEAN and ASEAN-led mechanisms, the UN, WTO, ASEM, the Non-Aligned Movement and Mekong sub-region mechanisms.

The Myanmar side reiterated its support of Vietnam as Chair of ASEAN in 2020 and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2020-2021.

The leaders re-affirmed the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the region and the freedom and safety of navigation and overflight in the East Sea. They stressed the importance of settling disputes by peaceful measures on the basis of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), without using or threatening to use force. The two sides underlined the need to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and to build an effective, substantive and legally binding Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

The Myanmar side thanked the Vietnamese Government for understanding the situation in Rakhine state and for providing Myanmar with 100,000 USD to serve humanitarian targets and the reconstruction and development of Rakhine state.

Vietnam expressed continued support for Myanmar’s efforts to ensure peace, stability, the rule of law, and to promote harmony and reconciliation among communities, thus ensuring sustainable and just development in Rakhine.

The leaders appreciated the support that the ASEAN and the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA) have given to Myanmar in handling humanitarian issues and facilitating the repatriation of refugees in Rakhine./.