PM Chin proposes breakthrough in economic cooperation with Malaysia

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on July 8 welcomed Malaysian Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Zafrul Abdul Aziz in Hanoi, who is on a working visit to Vietnam to co-chair the fourth meeting of the Vietnam-Malaysia Joint Committee on Trade.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Vietnamese Prime Minister welcomed Malaysia as Vietnam’s key trade and investment partner, saying Malaysia is currently Vietnam’s third-largest trading partner within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its 10th-largest trading partner globally.

Malaysia is also ASEAN’s third-largest investor in Vietnam with total registered capital of over $13 billion, he added.

Vietnam has always welcomed and encouraged Malaysian enterprises and investors to do business in the country, and the country is committed to protecting their legitimate rights and interests, ensuring fair treatment and providing favourable conditions to foreign investors, including Malaysians.

With both countries’ goal of reaching US$20 billion in the next few years within reach, PM Chinh suggested that the two countries continue to leverage their complementary strengths and explore innovative solutions to boost economic, trade and investment cooperation, and participate in global value and supply chains.

He also urged Malaysia to facilitate the entry of Vietnamese products into the Malaysian market, especially processed agricultural products, seafood and food, support the development of Vietnam’s halal industry and encourage Malaysian investment in Vietnam in this sector, as well as digital transformation, green transition, clean energy and wind power exports.

They also called for greater collaboration in emerging areas such as innovation, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity.

To further boost cooperation, Vietnamese government leaders proposed sharing experiences, jointly building mechanisms and policies, improving governance capacity, transferring technology and cultivating high-quality human resources, especially in emerging fields.

They also stressed the need to strengthen tourism and cultural cooperation through effective cooperation between companies from the two countries, people-to-people exchanges, and flexible regulations.

On global and regional issues, PM Chinh said in the current situation, Vietnam and Malaysia need to continue to provide each other with support in multilateral forums, and together with other ASEAN member states, they should uphold ASEAN’s centrality, strengthen unity in diversity within ASEAN, and maintain an environment of peace, stability, cooperation and development.

Prime Minister Chin stressed the importance of maintaining peace, stability and safety of navigation and aviation in the East Sea, and resolving disputes peacefully in accordance with international law, particularly the UN Charter and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The Prime Minister reaffirmed Vietnam’s support for Malaysia’s ASEAN chairmanship in 2025 and called for Malaysia to support Vietnam’s efforts to remove the European Commission’s “yellow card” warning on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing for Vietnamese seafood.

In response, the Malaysian guest, who is visiting Vietnam for the second time, noted the wide-ranging agenda involving numerous Malaysian companies and predicted that bilateral trade could reach US$18 billion this year, surpassing the originally set 2025 target.

He expressed his strong desire to further strengthen bilateral economic, trade and investment relations, especially in areas such as the halal industry, digital transformation, green transition, wind power, innovation and artificial intelligence, which have great potential, as highlighted by the Prime Minister.

Zafrul reiterated Malaysia’s continued support for ASEAN’s central role in regional affairs and said he looked forward to Vietnam’s continued support as ASEAN chair in 2025.

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