PM’s visit to Vietnam boosts diplomatic, economic, people-to-people ties

by BERNAMA / pic credit: Ismail Sabri FB

HANOI – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s two-day official visit to Vietnam will not only further boost collaboration and economic ties but also people-to-people relations between the two countries.

Ismail Sabri said the purpose of his maiden visit was to enhance Malaysia-Vietnam ties in line with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and Vietnam next year.

In commemoration of the historic moment, the Prime Minister suggested that the two countries organise appropriate programmes and exchange of high-level visits which will begin with the state visit of Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc to Malaysia this year.

He said his meetings with four Vietnamese leaders clearly showed that both Malaysia and Vietnam remained very committed in implementing comprehensive cooperation under the Plan of Action (POA) 2021-2025 for Implementation of Malaysia-Vietnam Strategic Partnership.

In a bid to boost tourism activities under post-pandemic cooperation between the two countries, Malaysia has recognised Vietnam’s COVID-19 vaccination certificate after taking into account that the country was using vaccines approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Vietnam had accorded recognition to Malaysia’s vaccination certificate on August 2021.

During the visit, Ismail Sabri also suggested that the two countries finalise the process for integration of Malaysia’s MySejahtera application with Vietnam’s PC COVID which will facilitate travel, especially through the gateways of the two countries.

Meanwhile, Vietnam had requested for additional petroleum and gas supplies from Malaysia.

Malaysia agreed for an initial supply of 300,000 barrels of RON95 petrol to Vietnam.

He also said that Malaysia was ready to offer its expertise and advisory services to Vietnam and Vietnamese companies that have expressed interest in enhancing cooperation with Malaysia on the development of the country’s halal industry.

Ismail Sabri said he had discussed potential halal collaborations with Vietnam, especially on the opportunity to supply halal food during the 2021 SEA Games which will be hosted by Vietnam in May this year.

He added that Malaysia was also ready to offer its Islamic banking products as well as its assistance in expanding the halal ecosystem in Vietnam.

On trade cooperation, Ismail Sabri said the two countries had agreed to set a higher trade value target compared to the initial target of US$18 billion (US$1=RM4.21) by 2025, adding that the target amount was rather small in view of the vast potential opportunities presented by both countries.

Malaysia had also asked Vietnam to immediately take concrete action to address the issue of Vietnamese fishermen’s encroachment into Malaysian waters.

The Prime Minister said the issue had become rampant of late as the fishermen were not just encroaching into Malaysian waters, but also acting aggressive and provocative against the Malaysian maritime enforcers and local fishermen.

The visit saw the two countries exchanged documents on cooperation in legal matters, the recruitment and repatriation of workers as well as a letter of intent on cooperation in diplomatic training.

The Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) and Vietnam News Agency (VNA) also exchanged documents on cooperation relating to news and photo exchange, technical expertise and training.

Speaking to the media at the conclusion of his two-day visit to Vietnam yesterday, Ismail Sabri said the visit would not only enhance diplomatic ties between the two countries but also business to business and more importantly people-to-people relations.

“So I believe this visit will definitely strengthen Malaysia-Vietnam ties,” he said.

The Prime Minister’s maiden visit to Vietnam was at the invitation of his counterpart Pham Minh Chinh.

In all the meetings, Ismail Sabri spoke in Bahasa Melayu and it was translated into English.