Vast potential in expanding Malaysia-Vietnam ties

12 Sep 2023 09:27am
Hoi An women vendors, picture for illustrative purposes - FILE PIX
Hoi An women vendors, picture for illustrative purposes - FILE PIX
KUALA LUMPUR - As Malaysia and Vietnam celebrate the remarkable milestone of their 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations this year, there is indeed more room for collaboration waiting to be explored, says Malaysian Ambassador to Vietnam Datuk Tan Yang Thai.

Tan told Bernama that besides strengthening existing bilateral relations, it is also essential to promote strong and sustainable two-way trade and to continuously explore ways for closer cooperation in other sectors.

"When new opportunities or challenges emerge, we must consider, review and adapt accordingly. I believe there is room for the development of agriculture and aquaculture products, halal products, processed foods as well as electronic components and products. We’re also engaged with the Vietnamese in areas such as finance and property development.

"Moving forward, we can consider our strengths and opportunities to learn from each other in such areas as green technology and digitalisation,” the envoy said in a written reply to Bernama when asked to comment on the 50th anniversary celebration of Malaysia-Vietnam relations.

Tan pointed out that excellent people-to-people engagement between the two nations has steadily been growing since bilateral relations were first established in 1973.

"A key to facilitating people-to-people engagement is to increase the number of weekly flights from Vietnam and Malaysia, and we’re looking positively for this to happen in the near future,” said the envoy.

He noted that to date, areas of existing cooperation include defence, civil aviation, halal production, tourism and education.

With a two-day official visit by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to Vietnam last July, deemed a very significant one for both nations, Tan said it was indeed a strong signal of the desire to continue to strengthen and substantively develop bilateral relations.

"Furthermore, Malaysia and Vietnam have established important bilateral mechanisms for the purpose of strengthening relations - including the Joint Committee for Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation (JCM) and the Malaysia-Vietnam Joint Trade Committee (JTC).
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"In 2025, there will be a milestone of a decade since the Strategic Partnership was signed in 2015. Moving towards that milestone, we will continue to work with our Vietnamese counterpart to review and update the content and implementation of the action plans, to ensure that they remain relevant and mutually beneficial,” added Tan.

The July visit was also Anwar’s first official call to Vietnam since becoming the Prime Minister last November at the invitation of Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh when the two leaders attended the 42nd ASEAN Summit in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia, in May.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Embassy in Hanoi commemorated the golden jubilee of diplomatic relations at the Hanoi Opera House recently (Sept 8).

Tan, in his remarks during the event, also underlined the importance of cultivating these ties, especially among the youth, according to the Malaysian embassy’s office in Hanoi.

Guests were treated to a vibrant and entertaining array of dances from the Vietnamese Le Thanh Tran and Le Chau cultural dance troupes, as well as dancers from Perak state and musicians from the Malaysia Philharmonic Orchestra who were flown in from Malaysia for the event.

Vietnam is Malaysia's 12th largest trading partner in the world and the 10th biggest export destination in 2022, while Malaysia is Vietnam’s ninth largest trading partner.

Trade between Malaysia and Vietnam recorded US$19.33 billion last year - BERNAMA

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