Vietnamese Ambassador to Indonesia Nguyen Xuan Thuy (Source: VNA)
Significant milestones in Vietnam-Indonesia relations over the last 60 years were reviewed by Vietnamese Ambassador to Indonesia Nguyen Xuan Thuy during his recent interview granted to Vietnam News Agency correspondents in Jakarta.

Vietnam and Indonesia established diplomatic ties on December 30, 1955 at the General Consulate level, which was lifted to the Embassy level ten years later.

During Indonesian President Megawati’s visit to Vietnam in 2003, the two sides signed a comprehensive partnership agreement, paving the way for a future all-around cooperation framework.

In September 2011, on the occasion of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit to Indonesia, the two countries agreed to upgrade their ties to a strategic partnership, which was realised in June 2013 when President Truong Tan Sang toured Indonesia.

In October 2013, the two countries’ Foreign Ministers signed an action plan for implementing the strategic partnership mechanism from 2014-2018.

Ambassador Thuy said there is great potential for Vietnam and Indonesia to promote multifaceted links, citing economic cooperation as an example.

Bilateral trade increased to 5.4 billion USD in 2014 from only 1.6 billion USD in 2006, achieving the turnover target one year ahead of schedule . The figure is expected to hit 10 billion USD in 2018.

Apart from trade links, connections in other fields also recorded positive results. The average number of Indonesian tourists visiting Vietnam reaches 80,000 every year while those from Vietnam to Indonesia numbers around 50,000.

Vietnam and Indonesia are maintaining two cooperation mechanisms: the Joint Cooperation Committee on Science and Technology and the Bilateral Cooperation Committee, which contribute remarkably to stepping up bilateral affiliations.

The formation of the ASEAN Community by the end of this year will bring both opportunities and challenges to the two nations as they will join a competitiveness process within the region.

Vietnam and Indonesia are active members in cooperation activities within ASEAN, making practical contributions to the bloc’s development, Thuy noted.

Indonesia, as a large country and promising market, and Vietnam, with its dynamic economy, could serve as the backbone for the ASEAN Economic Community in the future if they cooperate closely, he stressed.-VNA