Vietnam, Indonesia aim to upgrade ties to comprehensive strategic partnership

Vietnam and Indonesia have agreed to promote their bilateral cooperation in various fields to a new height, creating a new momentum for lifting their relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership.      

Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Indonesian President Joko Widodo reached the consensus at their meeting in Jakarta on Monday after the former’s arrival to attend the 43rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits from September 4 to 7 at the latter’s invitation.

PM Chinh’s trip takes place as the two countries celebrate their 10th anniversary of their strategic partnership in 2023 and look forward to commemorating 70 years of their diplomatic relations as well as 80 years of Vietnam’s National Day and Indonesia’s Independence Day in 2025.

The two leaders have lauded the positive developments in the Vietnam-Indonesia strategic partnership since their meeting in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia in May 2023.

PM Chinh and President Widodo agreed to promote the efficiency of bilateral cooperation in various areas and to effectively implement all the signed agreements, including the one on maritime cooperation, in order to bring the current strategic partnership to a new height, creating a new motivation for upgrading the ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership in the near future.

The Vietnamese government leader called for efforts from both sides to maintain their trade rapport in a more balanced way, striving to raise two-way trade to US$15 billion by 2028, and to encourage businesses to invest in new spheres such as digital economy, green economy, energy transition, and e-vehicle ecosystem development.

The PM also asked Indonesia to create favorable conditions for Vietnamese exports to the country, cooperate to develop new strategic supply chains, and recognize Vietnam’s efforts in managing fishing vessels and minimizing illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

President Widodo expressed his thanks and appreciation for Vietnam’s support for Indonesia’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2023.

The Indonesian leader welcomed Vietnamese enterprises, including automaker VinFast – a member of private conglomerate Vingroup – to invest in Indonesia and boost cooperation in the development of renewable energy systems and the e-vehicle ecosystem.

The meeting between Vietnam’s high-level delegation led by PM Pham Minh Chinh (L) and its Indonesian counterpart headed by President Joko Widodo in Jakarta, Indonesia, September 4, 3023. Photo: Duong Giang / Tuoi Tre

He also proposed that the two countries strengthen maritime cooperation and sign a memorandum of understanding on sustainable fisheries cooperation soon.

PM Chinh told his host that Vietnam supports and works closely with Indonesia to make the 43rd ASEAN Summit and Indonesia’s ASEAN Chairmanship Year 2023 a success, contributing to consolidating the solidarity, unity, and centrality of ASEAN and maintaining peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the region.

Regarding the East Vietnam Sea issue, the two sides reiterated their support for the early finalization of a Code of Conduct for the East Vietnam Sea (COC) between ASEAN and China, based on international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

PM Chinh respectfully conveyed General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s and President Vo Van Thuong’s invitations to visit Vietnam to President Widodo, who accepted the invites with pleasure.

Vietnam and Indonesia established diplomatic relations in 1955 and entered into their strategic partnership in 2013.

In Southeast Asia, Indonesia is the third-largest trade partner of Vietnam, while the latter remains the former’s fourth-biggest trade partner, according to the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Trade between the two countries amounted to $14.1 billion last year, nearly triple the $4.8 billion in 2013.