Vietnam, Indonesia strive for $15B in two-way trade: legislators

By Vu Anh   August 4, 2023 | 06:11 am PT
Vietnam, Indonesia strive for $15B in two-way trade: legislators
National Assembly chairman Vuong Dinh Hue (L) shakes hands with Speaker of the Indonesian House of Representatives Puan Maharani at a meeting in Jakarta, August 4, 2023. Photo by Vietnam News Agency
National Assembly chairman Vuong Dinh Hue and his Indonesian counterpart Puan Maharani pledged to bring bilateral trade to over US$15 billion from last year’s figure of $14.1 billion.

During a meeting with the Speaker of the Indonesian House of Representatives in Jakarta on Friday, Hue emphasized the importance to Vietnam of developing its strategic partnership with Indonesia.

The two sides agreed to facilitate trade activities, reduce trade barriers, and promote the development of new and strategic supply chains, bringing into full play the potential and strengths of both countries.

Hue suggested that Indonesia open its market to Vietnamese agricultural products, especially Halal foods and fruits, and create favorable conditions for Vietnamese businesses to operate in the country.

Puan Maharani affirmed that Vietnam is a regional partner of strategic importance to Indonesia.

Both two leaders agreed to step up promotion and create conditions for businesses of the two sides to diversify their fields of investment cooperation, share legislative experiences, and create a legal corridor for cooperation in areas of global importance.

Both two leaders also agreed to increase the frequency of direct commercial flights and expressed their hopes of eventually opening a direct route between Hanoi and Jakarta.

Both pledged to strengthen cooperation in the sea and fisheries sectors, promote the settlement of issues related to regulations against illegal, undeclared and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Vietnam and Indonesia reaffirmed the importance of peace, stability, safety, security and freedom of navigation in the East Sea, internationally known as the South China Sea, maintained ASEAN's solidarity and common stance on the East Sea issue, and promoted the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and speed up negotiations for a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in line with international law and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982.

Both leaders then signed a cooperation agreement between the two legislative bodies.

Hue began his official visit to Indonesia on Friday and plans to attend the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA). Hue became the first Vietnamese National Assembly chairperson to officially visit Indonesia in 13 years. The visit took place on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the strategic partnership between the two countries.

During the four-day visit, which will last until Aug. 7, Hue is also expected to meet with Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Vietnam and Indonesia became strategic partners in 2013. Indonesia is Vietnam's third largest trade partner in ASEAN, while Vietnam is the fourth largest trade partner for Indonesia within the bloc.

Trade turnover between the two countries reached $14.1 billion in 2022, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Within the first four months of 2023, bilateral trade turnover reached over $4.2 billion, and may reach $15 billion for the entirety of 2023.

Vietnam supplies the Indonesian market with rice, coffee, cell phones and metal. Vietnamese businesses often import Indonesian coal, cattle feed and metal.

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