Malaysia, Vietnam discuss new opportunities, strengthening cooperation

Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Nguyen Xuan Phuc during the media conference (BERNAMA)

Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Nguyen Xuan Phuc during the media conference (BERNAMA)

Hanoi: Malaysia and Vietnam agreed to strengthen cooperation and look for new economic opportunities to reduce trade imbalance between the two ASEAN countries.

In a joint media conference, Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said both countries agreed to strengthen strategic cooperation in various sectors including defence, security, marine and fisheries, education, labour and tourism, Malaysian news agency BERNAMA reported.

Both premiers also agreed to encourage investments in infrastructure, energy, high-tech agriculture, aquaculture, transport and logistics as well as facilitate the networking of businesses in finding new opportunities.

Dr Mahathir said Malaysia and Vietnam agreed to work together within ASEAN and make use of the economic bloc to grow their economies and to tackle problems in the world and the region in particular.

“We are concern about promoting good relations not only in terms of diplomacy but also in terms of our trade and development,” he said.

“There is much we can learn from each other. (Vietnamese) Prime Minister has detailed out the agreements that would lead to deeper cooperation between our two countries. I am looking forward to implementing the agreements we have achieved during the discussion and meetings.”

He hoped to see trade grow in size to reduce the imbalance trade between the two countries.

On overlapping claims between the two countries, Dr Mahathir said disputes should be resolved in a peaceful manner through negotiations.

“There are many areas we agree and there are a few areas where we disagree or rather there are some disputes. But all these can be resolved between us in a friendly manner,” he said.

Dr Mahathir said he had a very good discussion with his counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

He also invited his Vietnamese counterpart to visit Malaysia to continue discussions on bilateral relations as well as on international issues.

Nguyen Xuan Phuc hailed the discussion with Dr Mahathir as fruitful and hoped to take the strategic partnership to new heights and ensure stronger growth in future, BERNAMA said.

He said Vietnam and Malaysia agreed to encourage Malaysia’s Petronas Oil and Gas and Petro Vietnam to expand cooperation in oil and gas exploration, production and supply.

“We should also put in place suitable mechanism to enable our fishermen to engage in legal, safe and sustainable fishing, as well as find solutions together to ensure Vietnamese workers have stable livelihood and jobs with decent income,” he said.

Earlier the two leaders attended the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Vietnam Coast Guard and Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).

Both premiers also witnessed an exchange of Letter on the Establishment of Malaysia-Vietnam Parliamentary Friendship Group.

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