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Apr 25, 2024 / 20:08

Vietnam, Indonesia eye lifting relations

The two ASEAN member states are working on multifaceted cooperation, especially economic ties, with a view to upgrading relations when they celebrate the 70th anniversary of bilateral ties in 2025.

Top diplomats of Vietnam and Indonesia met in Hanoi to discuss ways to upgrade the Strategic Partnership

 Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi at the meeting in Hanoi on April 24. Photos: Baoquocte

It’s part of the meeting between Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son and his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi for the 5th Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC), where they discussed comprehensive cooperation to strengthen the ties between the two ASEAN member states.

They expressed delight that the two countries will celebrate the 70th anniversary of establishing bilateral ties in 2025.

The ministers agreed to boost the exchange of high-ranking visits and effectively implement cooperation mechanisms, including the Action Plan for the 2024-2028 period to help strengthen political trust and multifaceted collaboration to take the relations to new heights.

Both underscored the growing economic and trade ties over the years, with Indonesia being Vietnam's third-biggest trade partner in ASEAN and Vietnam being Indonesia’s fourth-largest trade partner in ASEAN.

Two-way trade hit US$14 billion in 2023. In the first quarter of this year, it reached $3.6 billion, up 20% on year. The two countries are targeting $18 billion in trade by 2028 and measures to make the goal possible include organizing a joint commission on economic cooperation to remove barriers while strengthening links and supporting businesses on both sides to gain greater access to each other’s markets.

Retno Marsudi said Indonesian companies are interested in business expansion in Vietnam while Bui Thanh Son urged both sides to facilitate their operations, especially in new areas like green economy, circular economy, renewable energy, semiconductor industry, digital economy, electric vehicles, and halal products.

They decided to improve defense and security cooperation, prevent cross-border crimes, such as cybercrime, high-tech crimes, and human trafficking, and support the development of aviation links. They also agreed to expand cooperation in the areas of agriculture, fisheries, tourism, education, and people-to-people exchanges.

The ministers exchanged views on regional and global issues, including Myanmar and the East Sea (South China Sea), and pledged to cooperate and support each other in regional and multilateral fora, including the United Nations and ASEAN.

The two sides agreed on the need to maintain unity and ASEAN’s principles on the East Sea to ensure peace, stability, and prosperity in the region in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982 while promoting the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea/South China Sea (DOC) and the negotiations on the Code of Conduct in the East Sea/South China Sea (COC).

The meeting was concluded with an agreement to hold the 6th meeting in Indonesia in 2026. 

 Early in the morning of April 24, the two ministers made a stroll by Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi before their official meeting.  

Retno Marsudi also attended the ASEAN Future Forum 2024 (AFF 2024), an initiative proposed by Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh to discuss ways to strengthen ASEAN Centrality and ASEAN Community. It’s the forum designed by ASEAN, for ASEAN and the people.

Vietnam-Indonesia relations have strengthened in recent years, especially after the visit of Indonesian President Joko Widodo in January 2024.  

 The ministers visit Ngoc Son Temple and enjoy some fresh air. 

As of September 2023, Indonesia had 119 investment projects worth $646 million in Vietnam, with a focus on processing, manufacturing, lodging, and dining. Ciputra, Traveloka, Gojek, PT Vietmindo Energitama, Jafpa Comfeed Vietnam, and Semen Indonesia Group are among the Indonesian businesses operating in Vietnam.

Meanwhile, Vietnam had 17 projects worth $59 million in Indonesia involving FPT, Dien May Xanh, Vingroup, Viet Thai Group, Thai Binh Shoes, and Thuan Hai. These projects focused on information technology, agriculture, and industry. The largest project, worth $1.2 billion to manufacture 50,000 electric vehicles annually, began in Q1/2024 and will be completed in 2026.

 Vietnamese and Indonesian officials enjoy Pho (noodle soup with beef or chicken) for their breakfast.