15:03 | 11/09/2017 Vietnam - Asean
(VEN) - At the invitations of Indonesian President Joko Widodom and Myanmar President Htin Kyaw, Vietnam Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong visited the two countries from August 22-26.
New impulse for Vietnam-Indonesia relations
This was the first official visit by the party’s leader to Indonesia since the two countries established diplomatic relations 62 years ago, as well as since the bilateral relationship was upgraded to a strategic partnership in June 2013.
Trade between Vietnam and Indonesia has grown in recent years. In a recent talk with Vietnam Economic News’ reporters, Indonesian Ambassador to Vietnam Ibnu Hadi said Indonesia currently is Vietnam’s fourth largest trading partner in Southeast Asia. Bilateral trade increased from US$4.6 billion in 2012 to US$5.6 billion in 2016 at an annual rate of about five percent. In the first half of this year, the two countries exchanged US$3.5 billion worth of goods, including US$1.75 billion worth of Vietnamese exports to Indonesia and US$1.76 billion worth of Indonesian exports to Vietnam. Major Vietnamese exports to Indonesia include mobile phones and components, metals, equipment, computers and spare parts, while imports include automobiles, coal, metals and equipment.
The ambassador expects bilateral trade will reach US$7.5 billion by the end of this year and US$10 billion by 2018, as desired by leaders of the two countries.
As of April 2017, Indonesia remained the fifth largest ASEAN foreign investor in Vietnam and ranked 30th among 105 countries and territories investing in Vietnam. Its 59 investment projects are concentrated in oil and gas exploration and extraction, coal mining, banking, hotel, wood processing for export, fiber production, textiles and garments. Major Indonesian investment projects in Vietnam include Horizon Hotel Hanoi and Ciputra Hanoi International Hospital.
Vietnam currently has seven investment projects in Indonesia in the fields of mining, wholesale, retail, repair, information and communications.
The party leader’s visit to Indonesia aimed to deepen the bilateral strategic partnership, increase political trust, promote substantial cooperation and create a new impulse for Vietnam-Indonesia relations.
Deepening Vietnam-Myanmar relations
Last year, bilateral trade between Vietnam and Myanmar reached an estimated US$536 million, exceeding the US$500 million target set by leaders of the two countries.
Statistics from the General Department of Vietnam Customs show that in the first four months of this year, bilateral trade reached US$250.2 million, up 48 percent compared with the same period last year. This included US$191.7 million worth of Vietnamese exports to Myanmar, up 29 percent, and US$58.5 million worth of Myanmar’s exports to Vietnam, up 191 percent.
By the end of February 2017, Vietnam had invested more than US$2 billion in Myanmar. Brands of Vietnamese products and services present in Myanmar have won the trust of local consumers for quality and competitive prices. The party leader’s visit was expected to contribute to strengthening the legal and political foundation for the two countries to boost bilateral trade and investment.