Vietnam and Myanmar have agreed to reinforce cooperation in mutual areas of strength, such as fisheries, oil and gas, information communication technologies, agricultural cultivation and export processing, and tourism.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Myanmar’s Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin reached this consensus during the eighth meeting of the Joint Committee on Cooperation between Vietnam and Myanmar in the Myanmar capital Nay Pyi Taw on May 29, which coincided with the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties (May 28, 1975-2015).

They pledged to continue the facilitation of all-level visits via the State, Government and National Assembly channels while effectively utilising the existing cooperation mechanisms, such as the deputy ministerial-level political consultation and the Sub-Committee on Trade.

Myanmar’s Foreign Minister announced the establishment of the Myanmar–Vietnam Friendship Association, led by a Deputy Minister under the Office of the President, to increase mutual understanding and dialogues.

The two sides expressed their resolve to lift bilateral trade to 500 million USD this year. A number of Vietnamese projects operating in Myanmar were hailed as profitable, including a hotel, office and shopping complex run by Hoang Anh Gia Lai in Yangon and an oil and gas joint-venture between PetroVietnam Exploration Production Corporation and Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise.

The Government of Myanmar is considering granting an investment licence to the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) to set up Myanmar branch and is taking note of the proposals to provide further support for Vietnamese firms operating in the country, U Wunna Maung Lwin said.

Host and guest promised to effectively implement the defence cooperation agreement signed in September 2001, to improve the effectiveness of the annual security dialogue, and to promptly set up a defence policy dialogue mechanism.

Bilateral cooperation on defence and crime prevention, information and experience sharing, education and training, culture, and science-technology will be strengthened, including joint research on lotus fiber weaving.

In terms of regional and global issues, they reiterated their continued mutual collaboration at multilateral forums, pledged to coordinate with other ASEAN member states to establish the ASEAN Economic Community later this year, and maintain ASEAN’s central role and common voice in dealing with regional issues.

Myanmar expressed its wish for a settlement of the East Sea issue by peaceful means in line with international law, including the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea, and efforts towards concluding a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

The ninth meeting of this kind will be held in Vietnam in 2017.-VNA