Vietnam Time

8/8/2018 8:00:09 AM

HCM City to boost cooperation with Malaysia: Official

(VNF) - Ho Chi Minh City wants to further boost cooperation in multiple spheres with Malaysia, especially in the prioritised fields of trade, investment, technology, education, culture and tourism, said a local official at a ceremony marking 45 years of Vietnam-Malaysia diplomatic relations on August 7.

A performance at the ceremony marking 45 years of Vietnam-Malaysia diplomatic ties in HCM City on August 7. (Photo: VNA)

Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem noted that Vietnam and Malaysia share many cultural similarities and their people began to exchange and learn from each other a long time ago.

The relationship has been further reinforced since the two countries set up diplomatic ties on March 30, 1973 and, especially, after they lifted the relations to the level of strategic partnership in 2015, Liem said.

Two-way trade in 2017 topped USD 10 billion, a year-on-year increase of 19.06 per cent, of which Vietnam exported USD 4.2 billion worth of products to Malaysia and imported goods worth over USD 5.8 billion from Malaysian. Both sides are striving to increase trade value to USD 15 billion by 2020 under the Vietnam-Malaysia Action Plan in 2017-2019.

Malaysia ranks seventh out of 125 countries and territories investing in Vietnam. By the end of December 2017, Malaysia had 568 projects with a total registered capital of 12.18 billion USD in Vietnam, he adding that bilateral trade reached USD 6.67 billion in the first half of 2018, up 19.2 per cent year on year, and is expected to hit USD 15 billion by 2020.

Liem went on to say that Malaysia has invested USD 4.6 billion in nearly 250 projects in HCM City, ranking third among 98 foreign investors here.

Aside from political and economic partnerships, bilateral collaboration in security-defence, culture, education and labour have also resulted in positive outcomes, thereby contributing to the bilateral comprehensive cooperation as well as peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region, the official added.

Two countries’ delegates hail a significant milestone in bilateral friendship and cooperation. (Photo: VNA)

For his part, Malaysian Consul General in HCM City Sofian Akmal Abd. Karim affirmed that the sound relationship between Malaysia and Vietnam is the outcome of unceasing efforts by leaders and people of both nations, especially since the establishment of the strategic partnership in 2015.

This year, Vietnam and Malaysia celebrate the 45th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties, which is a significant milestone in bilateral friendship and cooperation, he said.

According to the diplomat, over the four decades, bilateral trade and investment ties have grown considerably, driven by the favourable economic environment. Meanwhile, encouraging outcomes have also been seen in people-to-people diplomacy when about 248,000 Vietnamese visited Malaysia and 480,000 Malaysians came to Vietnam in 2017.

Educational cooperation programmes and youth exchanges have also taken place regularly, helping to foster mutual understanding, solidarity and friendship.

He said although HCM City has attracted one-third of Malaysian investments in Vietnam, the two sides’ cooperation potential remains huge, particularly in education and tourism.

The official asked the City’s leaders to continue to support activities that are aimed at promoting bilateral ties so as to help intensify strategic partnership between Malaysia and Vietnam.

The ceremony featured singing and dancing performances by Vietnamese artists. The Malaysian Consulate General and partners also introduced a Batik flower-themed fashion collection symbolising the friendship between the two nations./.

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