Overview of the third meeting of the Vietnam-Thailand Joint Committee on Bilateral Cooperation (Photo: VNA)
 
Bangkok (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai co-chaired the third meeting of the Vietnam-Thailand Joint Committee on Bilateral Cooperation on January 24-25.

At the event in Thailand, the two sides discussed the current partnership between the two countries in all fields,ranging across the fields of politics, defence-security, economy, trade and investment, justice, transport, energy, agro-forestry-fishery, education-training, labour, science-technology, information technology, culture, sports, tourism, people-to-people exchange, as well as regional and international cooperation.

They sought specific measures to promote the comprehensive affiliation between the two sides in the future.
 
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (L) and Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai meet the media following the meeting (Photo: VNA)

Sharing delight at the growth of the enhanced Vietnam-Thailand strategic partnership over the years, they lauded the effective collaboration between ministries, sectors, and localities of both sides in implementing the action programme realising the bilateral strategic partnership in the 2014-2018 period, and agreed to work closely to soon finalise and sign aprogramme for the next period.

They noted that the bilateral ties in politics, external relations, defence, and security have become more trusting and practical. This has been shown through the regular visits and meetings among senior leaders of both sides; as well as via the efficiency of cooperation mechanisms such as the Joint Cabinet Meeting, the Joint Committee on Bilateral Cooperation, the Defence Policy Dialogue, the Joint Working Group in politics-security affiliation, and joint sea patrols.

Both sides concurred to coordinate in organising the fourth meeting in Vietnam, which is to be co-chaired by the Vietnamese and Thai Prime Ministers, and will further strengthen mutual understanding and trust, as well as create motivation for the growth of bilateral ties.

The two sides will create optimal conditions for businesses to strengthen their partnership, thus raising bilateral trade to 20 billion USD in 2020 and orientating it towards being more balanced and sustainable.

They committed to provide more favourable conditions for the import-export activities of agricultural products, especially fruit, between the two countries; while also increase the sharing of experience in rice research, production, and exporting.

The two countries underlined the significance of cooperation for sub-regional connection, especially in road, waterway, and aviation transport connectivity between Vietnam and Thailand, as well as ASEAN countries.

Vietnam lauded the Thai Government’s agreement to expand the occupational areas for granting work permits to Vietnamese labourers in Thailand and the realisation of the scheme.

Both sides vowed to further promote the cultural and education cooperation as well as the people-to-people exchange, including the strengthening of teaching Vietnamese and Thai languages in each country, while pledging to support activities of the Vietnam-Thailand and Thailand-Vietnam Friendship Associations.

The two sides expressed pleasure at their bilateral coordination at regional and international forums, especially within the framework of the ASEAN, the UN, and sub-regional cooperation mechanisms.

Thailand and Vietnam, as the respective ASEAN Chairs in 2019 and 2020, will work with other members of the association to promote ASEAN’s central role in regional common matters, including the East Sea issue.

They highlighted the strategic importance of ensuring maritime and aviation security and safety in the East Sea, as well as the peaceful settlement of disputes and the practice of restraint.

They stressed the need to not complicate the situation nor conduct militarization, respecting international law and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982, fully implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, and soon reaching the Code of Conduct in the East Sea in a practical and effective manner.
 
Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (L) pays a courtesy call to Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha (Photo: VNA)

Later on January 25, Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh paid a courtesy call to Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha who underscored the significance of the enhanced Vietnam-Thailand strategic partnership and lauded the outcomes of the third meeting of the Vietnam-Thailand Joint Committee on bilateral cooperation. He described the committee as a mechanism of top importance for boosting bilateral ties.

Minh thanked the Thai Government and people for creating favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community in the country to integrate into the local society, thus helping fostering bilateral friendship. –VNA