Vietnam, Myanmar hope to strengthen relationship

Vietnam, Myanmar hope to strengthen relationship
Myanmar President Thein Sein

NAPYIDAW (VNS) - Myanmar wants to foster co-operation with Viet Nam, especially within the ASEAN framework, according to its leaders.

In Myanmar's capital city yesterday, Vietnamese Vice President, Nguyen Thi Doan, was welcomed by President Thein Sein who said her visit would intensify bilateral co-ordination during celebrations for the 40 th anniversary of diplomatic ties this year.

Doan, in return, clarified that Viet Nam expected a stable and long-term friendship and all-around engagement with Myanmar.

During talks with her counterpart, Nyan Tun, on the same day, the Vietnamese Vice President asked for the Myanmar government's support for Vietnamese firms active in the 12 priority fields mentioned in the Viet Nam-Myanmar joint statement signed in 2010, as well as accelerating the licensing of Vietnamese projects in Myanmar.

The value of trade doubled in two years to reach US$475 million (S$656 million) in 2014, prompting both sides to talk about initiatives to boost it further.

They agreed that this meant enhancing joint efforts through high-level visits, using bilateral co-operation mechanisms and boosting economic and trade-investment activities.

The two vice-presidents said they expected two-way trade to reach more than $500 million this year. This would involve expanding collaboration in agro-forestry and fisheries, finance banking, telecommunications, transport, oil and gas, and tourism.

The host agreed to consider allowing the Bank for the Investment and Development of Viet Nam to open a branch in Myanmar, the Viet Nam National Oil and Gas Group to expand oil and gas exploration, and the military-run telecom provider Viettel to set up a joint venture with Yantanarporn Teleport of Myanmar.

The officials also committed to establishing a Myanmar-Viet Nam Friendship Association.

The Myanmar side called for co-ordination in rubber and food production and exports, including rice, seafood, vegetables and fruit.

The host also called for Vietnamese investment in three newly-established exclusive economic zones.

The two sides pledged to work closely at regional and global forums, especially in sub-regional mechanisms such as the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Co-operation, the Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Viet Nam Ministerial Summit, and the East-West Economic Corridor.

Simultaneously, the two countries vowed to partner other ASEAN members to ensure solidarity, uphold the association's central role in the evolving regional structure, maintain peace and solidarity in the East Sea, and create the ASEAN Economic Community by the end of the year.

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