Vietnam, Cambodia aim to double bilateral trade to $20B

By Ngoc Anh   December 11, 2023 | 07:16 am PT
Vietnam, Cambodia aim to double bilateral trade to $20B
Vietnam PM Pham Minh Chinh (R) welcomes Cambodia PM Hun Manet during the latter's official visit to Vietnam on Dec. 11, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
The Prime Ministers of Vietnam and Cambodia have proposed that the two countries strive to double bilateral trade to $20 billion in the following years.

PM Pham Minh Chinh on Monday emphasized Vietnam’s policy to give high priority to the relationship of "good neighbors, traditional friendship, along with comprehensive, sustainable, and long-term cooperation" as he welcomed his Cambodian counterpart Hun Manet during the latter’s official visit to Vietnam, according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Manet said his visit aimed to maintain the good tradition of the two countries and to promote the bilateral partnership to a new height.

In terms of the economy, trade, and investment, they agreed to support each other in building an independent and self-reliant economy that was deeply integrated with the world.

Vietnam and Cambodia should strengthen the connection between the two economies by boosting bilateral trade, especially border trade, and economic development cooperation in border areas, they said.

They proposed that Vietnam and Cambodia strive to achieve a new bilateral trade milestone of $20 billion and agreed to encourage and facilitate investment and business cooperation.

Regarding defense and security, the two leaders said they adhered to the principle of not allowing any hostile forces to use the territory of one country against the other.

Vietnam and Cambodia agree to closely coordinate in border management, prevention, and combat against cross-border crimes and jointly cooperate to address non-traditional security challenges, they said.

Cambodia affirmed that it always valued and would continue to coordinate and support the search, exhumation, and repatriation of the remains of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and experts who died in Cambodia.

Both PMs agreed to continue coordination and promote the resolution of areas within the 16% of the border that has not yet been demarcated.

They want to enhance the effectiveness of cooperation between the relevant forces and localities along the border of the two countries.

Both countries agreed to promote enhanced transportation connectivity, including highway connections and increased frequency of direct flights between major cities. They also want to coordinate with Laos to boost "One Journey, Three Destinations" tourism packages.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh requested the Cambodian government to continue paying attention and facilitating conditions for people of Vietnamese origin to live and work stably in Cambodia so they can integrate well into the local community.

The two leaders emphasized the importance of maintaining peace, security, and stability in the region, including maintaining unity, and the central role of ASEAN in the security and strategic issues of the region, including the South China Sea issue.

They both affirmed to continue to closely coordinate and support each other's positions at regional and international forums.

The two PMs then witnessed the signing of three cooperation documents, including a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation science, technology, and innovation between the Ministry of Science and Technology of Vietnam and the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology, and Innovation of Cambodia.

Also Monday, President Vo Van Thuong met with Hun Manet, affirming that Vietnam always values and desires to continuously strengthen the friendly and comprehensive cooperation with Cambodia.

PM Manet emphasized that the visit aims to promote "good neighborly relations, traditional friendship, comprehensive and sustainable cooperation" between the two countries, continuing to develop deep and solid ties.

Both sides emphasized that the Vietnam-Cambodia relationship is special, with a history of solidarity and mutual support during the struggle for independence in the past, as well as in the current nation-building and development efforts.

Hun Manet is on a two-day official visit to Vietnam starting on Monday. This is his first official visit to the country since taking office in August, and his first trip to an ASEAN country.

Vietnam and Cambodia established diplomatic relations in June 1967. From 2015 to 2022, two-way trade expanded by an average of over 20%, surpassing the $10 billion mark in 2022. Two-way turnover in the first nine months this year was $6.5 billion.

Vietnam is currently Cambodia's third largest trading partner and the neighboring country’s largest trading partner in ASEAN.

Vietnam has 205 ongoing investment projects in Cambodia with a total registered capital of $2.95 billion, ranking number one in ASEAN as well as in the top five countries with the largest total direct investment in Cambodia.

Cambodia ranks second among 79 countries and territories in which Vietnam has invested abroad.

In the first nine months of 2023, there were over 640,000 Vietnamese visitors to Cambodia and about 250,000 Cambodian visitors to Vietnam.

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