Vietnam-Myanmar relations increasingly substantive: officials
13 March 19 - Source: Nhan Dan - NDO/VNA – The Vietnam-Myanmar Joint Committee for Bilateral Cooperation held its ninth meeting in Hanoi on March 12, during which its members shared the view that the countries' comprehensive cooperative partnership is becoming increasingly substantive.
The event was chaired by Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Myanmar Minister of International Cooperation U Kyaw Tin.
Reviewing cooperation in different fields since the eighth meeting in May 2015, the two sides applauded efforts by their countries' ministries, sectors, localities, and businesses to boost relations in a result-oriented manner.
They noted the growing political trust and cohesion through frequent mutual visits and meetings at high levels. Most recently, Vietnamese Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong paid a state visit to Myanmar in August 2017, and Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi made an official trip to Vietnam in April 2018.
At the meeting, the officials agreed to enhance connections via all channels, including between the two countries' parties, governments, states, parliaments, and localities.
Vietnam and Myanmar will actively carry out cooperation mechanisms, build an action plan for implementing the comprehensive cooperative partnership for 2013-2023, promote the realisation of agreements reached during high-ranking visits, and increase people-to-people diplomatic activities.
The countries will also set up a defence policy dialogue mechanism in 2019; boost collaboration in fighting trans-national crimes; conduct negotiations on a treaty for mutual assistance in criminal matters; and work together to deal with non-traditional security issues, especially terrorism, trans-national crimes, environmental security, and water resources security.
Highlighting breakthroughs in economic links, they noted Vietnam is currently the ninth biggest trade partner of Myanmar, with bilateral trade reaching US$873.9 million in 2018, up 5.5% from the previous year. With such a growth trend, they believe that the figure will hit the target of US$1 billion in the near future. Additionally, Vietnam ranks seventh among investors in Myanmar, with 18 projects worth over US$2.1 billion in total.
Participants at the meeting said partnerships have reaped encouraging outcomes in transport, agriculture, culture, sports, tourism, finance, banking, information-communications, and education-training.
They also agreed to maintain and promote peace, security, stability, safety, and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea; respect international law, particularly the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea; resolve disputes by peaceful means, not militarise nor complicate the situation; carry out the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea; and soon finalise a substantive and effective Code of Conduct in the waters.
During the event, the two sides also agreed to keep coordination and mutual support at regional and international forums, especially within the framework of ASEAN, the UN, the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy, the Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam cooperation, the Greater Mekong Subregion, and the East-West Economic Corridor.
Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Minh asked Myanmar to consider reducing the licence waiting time for Vietnamese investment firms, along with the list of Vietnamese goods that need to be licensed before they are imported into Myanmar. He also asked for detailed guidelines on Myanmar's laws for Vietnamese businesses, and a timely settlement of obstacles facing Vietnamese investments.
Minister U Kyaw Tin affirmed his country's support for Vietnam when it holds the ASEAN Chair in 2020, in a bid to step up the ASEAN Community building, strengthen the bloc's solidarity, and raise ASEAN's role in an evolving regional architecture. He also reiterated Myanmar's support for Vietnam's candidacy for non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council for 2020-2021.
The 10th meeting of the Joint Committee for Bilateral Cooperation will be held in Myanmar in 2021.