Vietnam, Indonesia aim for $15B trade turnover

By Vu Anh   January 12, 2024 | 12:59 am PT
Vietnam, Indonesia aim for $15B trade turnover
President Joko Widodo (L) and President Vo Van Thuong at a press meet at Hanoi's Presidential Palace, Jan. 12, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
President Vo Van Thuong and his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo have aimed for Vietnam and Indonesia's bilateral trade turnover to increase from $14 billion in 2023 to $15 billion.

"Trade cooperation is a highlight for the two countries’ relations. Among ASEAN, Indonesia is Vietnam’s third largest trade partner, and Vietnam is Indonesia’s fourth largest," Thuong said at a press meet following a dialogue with Widodo in Hanoi on Friday.

Both countries will strive to bring their bilateral trade turnover to reach $15 billion and higher.

Thuong also asked for opportunities for its agricultural and halal products to gain access to Indonesian markets, as well as encouraged Indonesian businesses to invest into Vietnam in fields like banking, smart finance, high technology and innovation, and providing opportunities for Vietnamese businesses to operate and invest in Indonesia.

"We highly regard the fact that the two countries have signed memorandums on fishery, IT and telecommunications cooperation," Thuong said.

The two countries agreed to strengthen their political trust through exchanges, bolster defense and security cooperation, maintain exchanges and defense and security cooperation mechanisms, and not allow any individual or organization to use a country’s territory to harm the other.

The two leaders also agreed to bolster cooperation on traditional fields like education and training, agriculture, aquaculture, culture, and tourism, as well as expanding cooperation to potential fields like digital economy or energy transformation.

Widodo commended the increase in investments from both countries, including those from major corporations, especially two unicorn companies in Indonesia which have had substantial investments into Vietnam. On strategic industrial cooperation, he highly regarded investment commitments, especially VinFast, with a value of $1.2 billion, to develop the country’s electric car and battery ecosystems.

"I am certain that Indonesian companies investing into Vietnam will always be provided the best opportunities and protection. I also encourage Vietnamese businesses to invest into Indonesia," he said.

Thuong meanwhile stressed the potential of the two countries’ bilateral relations.

"With the traditional friendship and major cooperation achievements between the two countries over the last 70 years, it is time to consider upgrading ties to new heights in the coming times," he said.

Widodo is having a state visit to Vietnam from Thursday to Saturday.

Vietnam and Indonesia established diplomatic relations in 1955, upgraded them to a comprehensive partnership in 2003 and strategic partnership in 2013. Vietnam is Indonesia's sole strategic partner in ASEAN.

The two countries’ bilateral trade turnover increased from $9 billion in 2019 to $14 billion in 2023.

By September 2023, Indonesia had had 119 projects worth over $646 million, focusing on manufacturing, accommodations, food and beverages. Vietnam has 17 investment projects in Indonesia, with a total registered capital at $59 million, focusing on commerce, IT, agriculture and industry.

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