By Supalak Ganjanakhundee
There is room and potential for the two neighbouring countries to continue fostering trade and investment cooperation for our mutual benefit, said Phuc who arrived in Thailand on Saturday for the Asean Summit.
He also held a bilateral meeting with his Thai counterpart Prayut Chan-o-cha on the summit sidelines.
To achieve bilateral trade of US$20 billion by 2020, both sides need to further facilitate the two-way flow of goods and services, he said, urging Thai businesses to invest more in Vietnam.
The two-way trade volume in 2018 amounted to nearly $17.2 billion, an 82 per cent increase over 2013 figures. The trade volume in the first five months of 2019 amounted to $7.4 billion, a 12 per cent increase year on year.
“Both countries need to maximise our cultural, religious, geo-economic similarities so as to align our national development strategies in line with our respective priorities, expand and deepen connectivity in the Mekong sub-region, and make good use of the existing cooperative frameworks, while promoting physical and soft infrastructure connectivity to keep pace with the 4th Industrial Revolution,” Phuc told The Nation in an email interview.
“We need to make culture, sports, tourism cooperation and people-to-people exchanges a key pillar of bilateral cooperation,” he added.
“We should continue the tradition of close coordination and mutual support at multilateral frameworks, especially in Asean. Thailand’s Asean chairmanship in 2019 facilitates our coordination in 2020 when Vietnam takes over the chairmanship, aiming towards a resilient, cohesive and adaptive Asean Community,” he said.
“I believe that in the immediate future, both sides should focus our efforts to soon finalise the Plan of Action on Implementing the Vietnam-Thailand Strategic Partnership for 2019-24,” he said.
“The two countries should increase mutual visits, especially at the high level and effectively implement the memorandum of understanding on labour cooperation and the agreement on sending and receiving labour signed in 2015.
“Both should coordinate policies on the Mekong sub-region cooperation so as to foster land, maritime and air links between the continental Southeast Asia with the rest of the region and the world,” he said.
“The two should also coordinate to step up international economic integration for the common interest of both countries and the region as well as bolster cultural, sports and tourism cooperation and people-to-people exchange, he added.
“I am confident that with the efforts and determination of both countries’ leaders and people, the Vietnam-Thailand Strategic Partnership will ever flourish, thus contributing to building a united and strong Asean Community for peace, stability, cooperation and development of the region and the world,” the Vietnamese PM said.