Cooperation with neighboring countries to boost Vietnam's position

Vietnam's foreign affairs have been deployed on both bilateral and multilateral levels, a crucial part of which lies in the special friendship with neighboring countries.

Throughout history, Vietnam has focused on Party, State, and parliamentary diplomacy, as well as diplomacy of major countries, major partners or allies from all continents.

Invaluable relationship with Laos

Just as President Kaysone Phomvihane said, "The long-lasting friendship between Laos and Vietnam outlives mountains and rivers", there has been a close-knit relationship between the two countries.

After Vietnam and Laos signed the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation on July 18, 1977, the comprehensive cooperative relationship between the two countries was constantly consolidated, innovated and increasingly developed. This cooperative relationship has now entered a new chapter in history under new conditions, with more practical cooperations and continuously improved efficiency.

According to Mr. Khamjane Vongphosy, Minister of Planning and Investment of Laos, Chairman of the Laos - Vietnam Cooperation Committee, Vietnam currently has more than 400 FDI projects in Laos. These projects have been contributing to the economic and social development of Laos, especially projects in remote areas. Economic connections are strengthened, especially in trade, investment, finance, transport infrastructure, energy, telecommunications, and tourism.

In 2023, the two countries celebrated the 46th anniversary of the signing of the Vietnam - Laos Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation (1977-2023). On this occasion, the Lao News Agency (KPL) posted an article extolling "Laos - Vietnam relationship as a symbol of special friendship in the world".

The article emphasizes that in the history of international relations, the traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Laos and Vietnam are an unprecedented shining example, benefiting the people of the two countries in the process of fighting for independence and freedom, as well as building and developing the country.

Chairman of HCMC People's Committee Phan Van Mai, together with Mayor of Vientiane capital Atsaphangthong Siphandone inaugurat an online meeting room sponsored by HCMC, April 2023. Photo: SGGP/ Thuy Vu

Chairman of HCMC People's Committee Phan Van Mai, together with Mayor of Vientiane capital Atsaphangthong Siphandone inaugurat an online meeting room sponsored by HCMC, April 2023. Photo: SGGP/ Thuy Vu

According to Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son, that President Vo Van Thuong's choice of Laos as his first destination right after assuming the position of President demonstrates Vietnam’s consistent priority for the great friendship, special solidarity, and comprehensive cooperation with Laos.

At the third Belt and Road International Cooperation Forum held in China, on the occasion of the high-level meeting between the three countries Vietnam - Laos - Cambodia, President Vo Van Thuong affirmed that Vietnam always values ​​its relationship with Laos, considering Laos a top priority in its foreign policy. Vietnam and Laos have developed an invaluable, exemplary, faithful and trustworthy relationship that can hardly be found in other international relations.

Just as President Ho Chi Minh said, "The relationship between Vietnam and Laos is deeper than the two major rivers in Vietnam - Red River and Mekong River", the bond between these two nations will constantly be preserved and nurtured with the determination and best efforts of both Parties, Governments and people of the two countries.

Long-standing relationship with Cambodia

On August 22, General Hun Manet officially became the new Prime Minister of Cambodia. Having flourished during the leadership of Prime Minister Hun Sen, under the term of the new Prime Minister Hun Manet, Vietnam - Cambodia relations are expected to develop even more prosperously and brilliantly. Geographic proximity, as well as cultural and historical similarities are a solid foundation for Vietnam and Cambodia to cultivate and develop one of the long-standing traditional relationships in Southeast Asia.

Despite many difficulties and challenges along with the ups and downs of history, with the motto - "Close neighbors, traditional friendship, comprehensive cooperation, long-term sustainability", in recent years, the Vietnam - Cambodia relationship has continuously developed in all fields.

Political and diplomatic cooperation between Vietnam and Cambodia is constantly strengthened, playing a crucial role and acting as an overall direction for the two countries' relationship. Exchange events between high-level delegations of the Party, State, Government, National Assembly, as well as ministries, agencies, localities and people in the two countries are regularly held.

In terms of economics, the two nations signed an economic-trade agreement in 1998. Since then, trade and investment relations between Vietnam and Cambodia have developed strongly. In 2022, bilateral trade turnover reached US$10.57 billion, an increase of nearly 11 percent over the same period in 2021. Vietnam is Cambodia's third largest trading partner in ASEAN. Up to now, Vietnam has 205 valid investment projects in Cambodia, with a total capital of US$2.94 billion, ranking first in ASEAN and in the top 5 countries with the largest direct investment in Cambodia.

Comprehensive cooperation with China

"Friendly neighbors, comprehensive cooperation, long-term stability, future orientation" is the motto that the Communist Party of Vietnam and the Communist Party of China have long established.

Throughout the 7 decades since the two countries established diplomatic relations, Vietnam and China have gone through ups and downs, but the friendly cooperative spirit remains. Since China - Vietnam established the Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership, the political trust between senior leaders of the two Parties and two States has continuously been deepened. With the joint efforts of both sides, the Vietnam-China Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership in recent years has become a breeding ground for strong and comprehensive bilateral relations in all fields.

Over the past 73 years, the two Parties, the two States and the two peoples have stood side by side, giving each other great support and assistance. President Vo Van Thuong's business trip to attend the Belt and Road International Cooperation Forum at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping has actively contributed to the development of bilateral relations, which are aimed at achieving the set goals, and contributing to the effective implementation of the foreign policy of the 13th Party Congress.

China maintains its position as Vietnam's largest trade partner, accounting for 24.6 percent of the country's total import-export turnover by the end of September 2023, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Vietnam is also China's largest trading partner in ASEAN.

According to Mr. Xiong Bo, Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam, Vietnam and China are two socialist countries, two developing and emerging economies that share important interests in international issues within the framework of the United Nations and multilateral economic mechanisms. Vietnam - China relation is in its prime time in many areas of cooperation and still has much room for development.

As multipolarity and multicentric world order gain prominence, countries are trying to consolidate their combined strength, focusing on enhancing "soft power" and striving to gain a better position on the international stage. Therefore, traditional solidarity and friendship together with comprehensive cooperative relations between Vietnam and Laos, Cambodia and China in particular, and other worldwide cooperative partner countries in general is the driving force for all parties to act together for a world of peace, stability, cooperation and development.

Right after the third Belt and Road International Cooperation Forum in Beijing, President Vo Van Thuong attended meetings with the General Secretary, President of China Xi Jinping, Chief Commissioner of the National People's Congress of China Zhao Leji and Member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo, Secretary of the Secretariat, Chief of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee Office Tai Qi.

This is the first time President Vo Van Thuong has had bilateral meetings with senior leaders of the Party and State of China in his position as the Head of State of Vietnam.

The meeting marks continuation of a series of high-level contact activities between the leaders of the two Parties and States since the beginning of 2023, in celebration of the 15th anniversary of establishing the Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership framework.

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