Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Source: AFP/VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo and his spouse will pay a state-level visit to Vietnam from September 11-12 on the occasion of his attending the World Economic Forum on ASEAN. This is his first official visit to Vietnam since his assumption of the presidency in 2014.

Vietnam and Indonesia established diplomatic relations on December 30, 1955. The bilateral traditional relations of friendship have been built on the firm foundation laid by President Ho Chi Minh and President Sukarno, and nurtured and developed by generations of leaders and peoples of the two countries.

The two countries share many similarities. Both are members of the ASEAN, APEC and many other regional and international organizations and forums. Indonesia is Vietnam’s important partner with great potential, and it highly values Vietnam’s role and position as one of the countries with great influence in ASEAN. Vietnam and Indonesia have signed many cooperation agreements and treaties in various fields. Many bilateral cooperation mechanisms have also been established.

Since 1990, the two sides have exchanged many visits by high-level delegations of the two states, government and national assemblies, as well as by businesses and mass organizations. Bilateral relations entered a new stage with the historical visit by President Suharto in November 1990. In June 2013, during the Vietnam visit by President Megawati, the two countries signed a joint statement on the framework of friendly and comprehensive cooperation in the 21st century as well as an agreement on the demarcation of boundaries on the continental shelves. In the official visit to Indonesia by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in September 2011, the two sides issued a joint communiqué, declaring to push bilateral relations towards the strategic partnership. During the state-level visit by President Truong Tan Sang in June 2013, the two sides issued a joint statement, officially established the bilateral strategic partnership. In August last year, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong paid an official visit to Indonesia, becoming the first Vietnamese Party leader to come to the country and ushering in a new chapter in the history of the bilateral relations.

In recent years, trade between the two countries has seen encouraging progress. Two-way trade value rose to 5.6 billion USD in 2016 from 4.6 billion USD in 2012. The figure in the 2017 further increased to 6.5 billion USD and 4.7 billion USD for the first seven month of this year, while the two sides are striving to bring it to 10 billion USD in 2020. Vietnam’s main exports to Indonesia include rice, crude oil, cement, electronic components and farm produce, and its main imports from the country are fertilizer, gasoline, packaging material, machinery, fabrics, paper and confectionery.

In June 1989, the two sides officially launched the Vietnam – Indonesia air route. Many of Indonesian firms have come to Vietnam to explore investment opportunities. As of June this year, Indonesia remained as the 5th largest among the ASEAN countries and the 30th largest among the 126 countries and territories worldwide investing in Vietnam with 71 projects and a total capital of 514 million USD, mostly in oil and gas exploration and exploitation, coal mining, banking, hotel industry, wood processing and exporting, and garment.

Indonesia is among the earliest countries to establish security – defence relations with Vietnam. The two sides have exchanged many delegations and implemented bilateral cooperation in the fields of training officers and search-and-rescue activities. They have also made efforts to broaden cooperation in executive, legislative, justice, cultural, sport and fishery spheres.

The visit by President Widodo will take place in the context that the Vietnam – Indonesia strategic partnership has recorded new progress since the official visit to Indonesia by Party leader Nguyen Phu Trong in August 2017, and serve as an important focus that helps orient the bilateral cooperation in the new stage five years after the establishment of the strategic partnership.-VNA