Ho Chi Minh City celebrates 45 years of Vietnam-Malaysia relations

Tuesday, 2018-08-07 17:04:33
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A performance at the ceremony marking 45 years of Vietnam-Malaysia diplomatic ties in Ho Chi Minh City on August 7 (Photo: VNA)
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NDO/VNA – Ho Chi Minh City wants to further boost its cooperation with Malaysia in multiple spheres, especially in the prioritised fields of trade, investment, technology, education, culture and tourism, said a local official.

Speaking at a ceremony to mark 45 years of Vietnam-Malaysia diplomatic relations on August 7, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, Le Thanh Liem, noted that Vietnam and Malaysia share many cultural similarities and their people began to exchange and learn from each other a long time ago.

The relationship has been further reinforced since the two countries first set up diplomatic ties on March 30, 1973, and, especially, after they lifted the relations to the level of strategic partnership in 2015, Liem said.

With 562 projects worth over US$ 12 billion, Malaysia currently ranks seventh among the countries and territories directly investing in Vietnam, while bilateral trade reached US$ 6.67 billion in the first half of 2018, up 19.2 percent annually, and is expected to hit US$ 15 billion by 2020.

Liem went on to say that Malaysia has invested US$ 4.6 billion in nearly 250 projects in Ho Chi Minh City, ranking third among the 98 foreign investors there.

Aside from political and economic partnerships, bilateral collaboration in security-defence, culture, education and labour have also resulted in positive outcomes, thereby contributing to the comprehensive bilateral cooperation, as well as to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region, the official added.

For his part, Sofian Akmal Abd. Karim, Malaysian Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City, affirmed that the sound relationship between Malaysia and Vietnam is the outcome of the unceasing efforts by the leaders and people of both nations, especially since the establishment of the strategic partnership in 2015.

According to the diplomat, over the past four decades, bilateral trade and investment ties have grown considerably, driven by the favourable economic environment. Meanwhile, encouraging outcomes have also been seen in people-to-people diplomacy, as approximately 248,000 Vietnamese people visited Malaysia and 480,000 Malaysians came to Vietnam in 2017. Educational cooperation programmes and youth exchanges have also taken place regularly, helping to foster mutual understanding, solidarity and friendship.

He said that, although Ho Chi Minh City has attracted one-third of Malaysian investments in Vietnam, the two sides’ cooperation potential remains huge, particularly in education and tourism.

The official asked the Ho Chi Minh City’s leaders to continue to support activities that are aimed at promoting the bilateral ties in order to help intensify the strategic partnership between Malaysia and Vietnam.

The ceremony featured song and dance performances by Vietnamese artists. The Malaysian Consulate General and partners also introduced a Batik flower-themed fashion collection symbolising the friendship between the two nations.