Cambodia visit lifts neighbour bond

A new co-operation era has been taking shape between Vietnam and Cambodia, with the two countries committing to preserve their comprehensive relationship and raise their bilateral economic and investment ties.

After 50 years of friendship, Vietnam and Cambodia are working to build an even stronger relationship Photo: VNA

During his official state visit to Cambodia during July 20-22, and his first visit to this country since he was re-elected Party general secretary in early 2016, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong conducted bilateral talks with Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni, met with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen – who is also the Cambodian People’s Party president – and talked with leaders of Cambodia’s National Assembly.

The two sides reviewed their strong 50-year relationship, and affirmed that Vietnam and Cambodia will continue working together to strengthen their solidarity and enhance their traditional and comprehensive co-operation efforts.

The two countries released a joint statement on strengthening Vietnam-Cambodia friendship, which is especially focused on reviewing their 50 years of relations and setting a new co-operation framework for the time to come.

Both countries affirmed that economic and investment ties will continue serving as one of the key bilateral co-operation pillars. The two sides also set a goal of raising their bilateral trade volume from $2.93 billion last year to $5 billion by 2025.

To this end, Vietnam and Cambodia pledged to continue implementing bilateral co-operation deals, removing hurdles facing enterprises on both sides, and boosting the connection of their road infrastructure, energy systems, and agro-forestry and fishery sectors.

Agreements inked

– Joint statement on strengthening Vietnam-Cambodia friendship

– Framework agreement between the two governments on connecting the two economies

– Protocol on frequent rescue at land border areas between the two defence ministries

– Memorandum of understanding on hydropower co-operation and power purchasing between the two countries

– Co-operation agreement between Vietnam’s Metfone Viettel with Cambodia Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications’ National Institute of Posts, Telecommunications and ICT on building Cambodia’s e-government

Vietnam and Cambodia also agreed to simplify their export-import and quarantine procedures, as well as increase efforts to thwart cross-border trade fraud and smuggling.

Vietnam will consider selling electricity to a number of border areas within Cambodia. Meanwhile, Cambodia has committed to continue creating favourable conditions for Vietnamese investors to deploy hydropower and mineral exploitation projects in their country.

According to the Council for the Development of Cambodia, Vietnam has nearly 200 valid investment projects in Cambodia, registered at about $3 billion, focusing on many sectors such as telecommunications, banking, aviation, and agriculture. Vietnam is now among the top-five biggest foreign investors in Cambodia.

Many Vietnamese firms have been successfully operating in Cambodia over the past years, such as the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), Viettel, Vietnam Rubber Industry Group, PetroVietnam, Vietnam Airlines, Hoang Anh Gia Lai, Five Star International Group, VinaCapital, Vinafood 2, Vinacomin, Saigontourist, and Saigon Co.op.

During this visit, Trong also informed his Cambodian counterparts that the Vietnamese Party, state, and people have decided to donate $25 million to help the Cambodian National Assembly construct a work building for its Secretariat and committees.

By Thanh Thu

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