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JOINT PRESS STATEMENT between the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and Malaysia (20 – 21 March 2022)
1. At the invitation of H.E. Mr. Pham Minh Chinh, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, H.E. Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Prime Minister of Malaysia, paid an official visit to Viet Nam from 20-21 March 2022. The visit demonstrated the strong commitment of both sides in advancing their long-term friendship and Strategic Partnership and heading together towards sustainable pandemic recovery.
2. During the visit, Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob was accorded an official welcoming ceremony; and held bilateral talks with Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh. The Prime Minister of Malaysia also paid courtesy calls on H.E. Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Viet Nam, H.E. Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc, President of the State, and H.E. Vuong Dinh Hue, Chairman of the National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.
3. The Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh witnessed the exchange of bilateral documents, including the Memorandum of Understanding on Legal Cooperation Activities; and the Memorandum of Understanding on the Recruitment, Employment and Repatriation of Workers. Both sides further signed a Letter of Intent expressing the intention to facilitate work towards the finalisation of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Institute of Diplomatic and Foreign Relations of Malaysia and the Diplomatic Academy of Viet Nam on Cooperation in the Field of Training Diplomats. Both sides also welcomed the Professional Cooperation Agreement signed between the Malaysian National News Agency (BERNAMA) and Vietnam News Agency.
Strengthening the Viet Nam – Malaysia Strategic Partnership
4. The leaders commended the strong and substantive development of the Strategic Partnership between the two countries. Both sides agreed to further strengthen political confidence and develop Viet Nam - Malaysia Strategic Partnership in a deeper and more comprehensive manner ahead of key milestone of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2023.
5. Both sides affirmed commitment towards deepening political and economic cooperation by promoting and conducting regular high-level engagements, strengthening existing bilateral cooperation mechanisms, notably the Joint Commission for Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation (JCM) and the Joint Trade Committee (JTC). Both sides agreed to continue working closely for the effective implementation of their signed agreements, including the Viet Nam – Malaysia Plan of Action for implementation of the Strategic Partnership for 2021 – 2025.
6. The Leaders emphasized the importance of steadily promoting a strong, balanced and sustainable two-way trade striving towards the target of USD 18 billion by 2025 with a view to having balanced trade between both countries. In this regard, they agreed to explore ways to improve market access for key export products of both countries, including agriculture and aquaculture products, Halal products, processed foods, electronic components and products.
7. Viet Nam’s Leaders highly valued the fact that Malaysia is the second largest ASEAN investors in Viet Nam with the total registered capital of USD 13 billion. Both sides agreed to further facilitate the expansion of investment in the two countries, particularly in high potential areas such as automation, smart logistics, innovation, high technology, digital economy, digital transformation. The Leaders also agreed to undertake joint efforts in taking advantages of new trade agreements of which the two countries are members, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to further deepen their trade linkage.
8. The Leaders expressed satisfaction over the defence and security cooperation and agreed to enhance information exchange and cooperation between the Navies and the Coast Guards of the two countries to effectively address emerging maritime issues. Both sides agreed to strengthen maritime and ocean cooperation through prioritizing sustainable development of maritime economy, management of maritime resources and protection of marine environment.
9. Both sides requested to effectively implement the newly renewed MOU on the Recruitment, Employment and Repatriation of Workers. The Leaders committed to continue promoting people-to-people exchange through the enhancement of cooperation in areas of education, culture and tourism.
10. Malaysia continues to offer opportunities for Vietnamese officials to participate in the training and capacity building courses under the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme (MTCP).
Recovering together towards sustainable socio-economic development
11.The Leaders reiterated the importance of closer cooperation towards socio-economic resilience and sustainable development at post COVID19 pandemic. Both sides agreed to accelerate negotiations for a new Agreement on Air Services and welcomed the early conclusion of the agreement on mutual recognition of COVID-19 vaccination certificates, which will facilitate the safe and regular commercial travel between both countries.
Regional and International Cooperation
12.The Leaders exchanged their views on key global and regional developments. Both sides committed to enhance coordination on building ASEAN Community, including the ASEAN Community’s Post2025 Vision under Malaysia’s role as the permanent shepherd. They expressed support for ASEAN’s active role in assisting Myanmar to overcome the current crisis, and to return to normalcy, including the implementation of the Five-Point Consensus.
13.The Leaders reiterated ASEAN’s consistent position on the South China Sea and reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace, security, stability, safety, and freedom of navigation and over-flight in and above the South China Sea, and peaceful resolution of disputes without resorting to threat or use of force, in accordance with the universally recognised principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). They called for the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in its entirety, and were encouraged by the progress of the substantive negotiations towards the conclusion of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) in accordance with international law, including 1982 UNCLOS. They emphasised the need to maintain and promote an environment conducive to the COC negotiations.
14.Both sides expressed satisfaction at the significant outcomes of the visit which helped to further the friendship and Strategic Partnership between Malaysia and Viet Nam. Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob highly appreciated the warm welcome and gracious hospitality extended to the Malaysian delegation by the Leaders and the people of Viet Nam during his visit. The Prime Minister of Malaysia further invited the Leaders of Viet Nam to visit Malaysia at the convenient opportunities.