65th Anniversary of establising the Vietnam – Indonesia diplomatic relation and looking back the cooperation progress of Tien Giang province and Indonesian partners
Vietnam and Indonesia are all members of ASEAN. Sice the time of establishing the diplomatic relation (30/12/1955) until now there have been some major advances in the mutual cooperation between Vietnam and Indonesia; and actually brought benefits to both sides. In 2020 both countries will celebrate the 65th anniversary of establishing their diplomatic relationship. Looking back essential milestones of the 65-year progress of development and cooperation it is clear to see 4 big events which basically changed the relation of two countries: in 1955 both nations established the relation at the consular level and after 10 year it was raised to embassy level. In 2003, during the business trip to Vietnam led by the Indonesian President, Megawati both sides signed the comprehensive partnership convention. In September of 2011 during the business trip to Indonesia led by Prime Minister, Nguyen Tan Dung both sides reached agreement to develop relation towards the strategic partnership; and it soon came true when both sides officially decided to raise up to the strategic partnership during the business trip to Indonesia led by Prersident, Truong Tan Sang in June of 2013. This is an important milestone of qualitative transformation of the mutual relation and opened up to all the scopes interested by both sides.
Sice the time of setting up the strategic partnership up to now both countries achieved many benefits from their deep and expansive cooperation thanks to visiting programs, high ranking meetings, signing various agreements on different areas of from politics to economics, culture and social affairs, educatiion and training… Both sides signed over 30 cooperative conventions and regularly exchanged high ranking delegations, promoted cooperation at both important forums as the Committee on scientific and technical coperation and the Committee of mutual cooperation.
One of the latest important conversations of two countries which can be highlighted was the official state visit trip led by President, Nguyen Phu Trong in August of 2017. This was very meaningful and highly simbolic visit to mark the new stage of reciprocal relationship to be closer, deeper and more comprehensive; and it also contributed in strengthening the ties between the Vietnam Communist Party and Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle. At the meeting both sides signed many agreements on various areas such as: MOU between Ministry of Justice of Vietnam and Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of Indonesia; MOU between Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam and Ministry of Village Development of Disadvantaged areas and Immigration of Indonesia, MOU on cooperation in using gas in the border area and MOU on coal cooperation between Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam and Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources of Indonesia; the intention of strengthening cooperation between Vietnam and Indonesia Coast Guard and MOU on educational cooperation between the Government of Vietnam and the Government of Indonesia.
In April of 2018 under the witness of Vietnam President, Tran Dai Quang and Indonesia President, Joko Widodo by his official business trip to Vietnam during Septmeber 11th and 12th, 2018 the Committee of bilateral cooperation of Indonesia and Vietnam signed the Action Plan of the strategic partnership for the period of 2019-2023. Besides this, both sides also agreed to have close and active cooperation in the international forums of United Nations, the non-aligned movement, ASEAN and other international organizations. Particularly, through meetings of high ranking leadership, experts and enterprises both sides commonly shared their points of view, stances and agreements on promoting the solidarity of ASEAN members, central roles of ASEAN in handling political and economic problems of the region and the world, of which there are conflicts regarding the East sea.
Looking at the trading and investment exchanges, according to Indonesian Embassador in Vietnam, Ibnu Hadi, the Vietnam – Indonesia cooperation has been well developed in the recent years. Presently, Indonesia is the trade partner ranked No 4 among ASEAN countries. If in 2006 the bilatreral trade turnover only attained 1.6 billion USD it was raised up to 9.1 billion USD in the end of 2019, increasing by 5.7 times after 10 years. The objective until the end of 2020 will be 10 billion USD and this figure can be easily reached by both sides. Of which the key products exported by Indonesia were iron, steel, electronic components and auto spare parts. In terms of investment Indonesia is the investor ranked No 5 among Asean countries in Vietnam. Accounting until the end of 2018 there were 74 projects invested by Indonesian investors with the total amount of 585 million USD, ranked No 28 among countries and territories having their investment in Vietnam in the scopes of processing industries, property, food and drinks, health care, coal exploration, cement, transporation and logistics, agriculture, construction…
Besides trade and investment culture, education and tourism have been considered as the potential of the mutual cooperation. Especially, since 2012 the Vietnam airline decided to open direct filght from HCM City to Jakarta, stimulating the increase of tourist number to come to each other for visiting. Annually, there are around 80,000 Indonesian tourists to visit Vietnam and in return there are also 50,000 Vietnamese tourists to visit Indonesia. It has generated fruitful cooperation and strengthened the people-to-people exchanges as well as soundly contributed to development of ASEAN community in the coming time.
In terms of defence and security both sides have commited to further the close coopertation in fighting terrorism, high technical crimes, human and drug trafficking and other cross-national crimes; actively proceed and early end negotiations in identifying exclusive economic zone in the East sea, advancing fowards the comprehensive solution, including handling the problems of fishing boats and fishermen on the principles of human spirit, friendship and preserving solidarity among ASEAN members, suitable with the strategic partnership, respect of independence and sovereignty of each country.
In terms of Tien Giang province, looking back the past time the cooperation between the province and Indonesian partners is still moderate, mostly took place in exporting - importing commodity and exchanging delegations. According to data provided by Department of Insutry and Trade the trading turnover between the province and Indonesian partners reached 41 million USD in 2019, of which export was 2.8 million USD with key products as rice, garments, shoes and import was 38.2 million USD with main products as materials for garments, shoe making, copper tube production, feed and equipment. Regarding delegation exchanges the province mostly participated in celebrations of National Day of Indonesia and Mr. Consul General called on the leaders of the province and some delegations came for studying the investment opportunites. Many possibilities have still not explored by both sides, especially export and import of fruits, fisheries, tourism promotion and cooperation in education and training. Getting these unexplored potentials, recently, Mr. Hanif Salim – Consul General of Indonesia in HCM City just led the delegation to Tien Giang during March 2nd and 3rd, 2020 to work with Department of Foreign Affairs and relevant agencies for field study and promote cooperation in 4 scopes: establishing the cooperation between Tien Giang province and one state of Indonesia and hold activities of delegation exchanges to introduce the cooperative opportunies and share the experiences of development to each other, importing some aquatic products of Tien Giang province, promoting cooperation in post-graduate education and organizing one connection forum for enterprises of the Mekong delta and Indonesia in investing and exporting – importing fruits and fisheries.
Thanks to experiencing the 65 years of the cooperation and all being important members of ASEAN, if two economies have close cooperation it will create the solid backbone for the ASEAN economic community in the new stage of development. Privately, Tien Giang province needs to strengthen its cooperation with Indonesian partners because it is a huge market of nearly 300 million persons for the key products of the province, following the trend of diversifying the export markets of Tien Giang businesses./.
Translated by the Department of Foreign Affairs