Hanoi (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Matsudi co-chaired the third meeting of the Vietnam – Indonesia Bilateral Cooperation Commitee in Hanoi on April 17.

Reviewing the action programme for 2014-2018, they lauded the two countries’ ministries, agencies and localities for the effective and practical development of bilateral strategic partnership, with growing political ties with high trust.

The two sides maintained regular high-level visits and exchanges, particularly Indonesia’s visit by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong in August 2017 that opened up a new chapter in bilateral ties.

They agreed to facilitate high-level visits and meetings on the sidelines of international forums via the Party, Government, State, National Assembly channels and people-to-people exchange.

Bilateral economic collaboration has seen gigantic development, with two-way trade hitting 6.5 billion USD last year, up 16 percent from 2016. The two sides promised to soon sign the Memorandum of Understanding on economic and trade defence.

In particular, Indonesia vowed to recognise more labs and food safety quarantine offices of Vietnam and soon expand imports of Vietnamese fresh fruits such as dragon fruit, litchi, longan, star apple and grape fruit.

They committed to effectively implementing the Declaration on Joint Vision on Defence Cooperation for 2017-2022 and a letter of intent on cooperation between Vietnamese and Indonesian coast guards.

Host and guest pledged to soon establish the defence deputy ministerial-level policy dialogue mechanism, increase collaboration in peace maintenance, joint training for search and rescue at sea, extend coordination to logistics-technology, defence industry and crime prevention, while promoting consultation and mutual support in regional defence-security cooperation mechanisms such as ASEAN Defence Ministerial Meeting and ASEAN Regional Forum.

Progresses were also seen in collaboration in energy, aviation, culture, education-training and tourism.

Indonesia promised to continue working closely with Vietnam to build a new cooperation mechanism to deal with fishermen issue in humanitarian spirit.

Discussing regional and global issues of shared concern, they reaffirmed mutual support for their bids to run for non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and agreed to co-chair each other’s initiatives in fields of interest at APEC.

The Indonesia side will continue partnering with Vietnam and other ASEAN member states to push forward the implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and enhance ASEAN’s central role.

On the East Sea issue, they discussed ways to maintain peace, stability, maritime and aviation security and safety, settle disputes in the East Sea by peaceful means, and fully respect diplomatic and legal processes in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The two sides underscored the need to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, and soon reach a practical, effective and legally-binding Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

The fourth meeting of the committee is scheduled to take place in Indonesia in 2020.-VNA