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Vietnam, Indonesia aim for breakthroughs in economic ties

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Indonesian President Joko Widodo have stressed the need to create breakthroughs in bilateral economic cooperation, making it the main pillar of the strategic partnership between Vietnam and Indonesia.

At the talks
At the talks

During their talks in Bali, Indonesia, on October 12, the leaders exchanged views on orientations to deepen the bilateral ties and elevate cooperation between the two countries to a new high, bringing tangible benefits to their people.

They agreed to lift bilateral trade to 10 billion USD by facilitating market access for each other’s goods, reducing technical barriers, simplifying customs procedures and closely cooperating in product origin inspection and quarantine.

Apart from further facilitating the operation of businesses, the two sides will create dialogue mechanisms between businesses as well as between businesses and governments to swiftly settle bottlenecks hindering investigation and business activities.

The leaders consented to review the 1990 agreement on economic, commercial and technical cooperation and consider making the Joint Trade and Economic Commission the leading mechanism in promoting bilateral economic ties.

The leaders concurred to expand collaboration to such new areas as digital technology, new technology, intellectual property, clean energy, smart city, information-technology, smart agriculture, logistics and startup ecosystem, aiming to utilise opportunities generated by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The two leaders stressed the need to further strengthen maritime cooperation, and agreed to assign the two countries’ competent agencies to study the establishment of a marine cooperation mechanism to discuss related cooperation, especially in fishing, seafood processing, and building a favourable framework for their fishermen’s operation in a safe, sustainable and legal manner.

PM Phuc thanked the Indonesian Government for the return of 177 Vietnamese fishermen arrested and detained in Indonesia, proposing both sides regularly exchange information and handle the issue of arrested fishermen and fishing vessels in a humanitarian spirit and in accordance with the good relations between two countries.

The two sides agreed to accelerate the establishment of a hotline on fishing and sea-related issues, while actively coordinating to implement the joint communiqué on voluntarily international cooperation against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing signed last month.

The two leaders welcomed the progress in the demarcation of the exclusive economic zones (EEZ) between the two countries after 11 rounds of negotiations, and consented to work harder for a solution suitable for both sides and in line with international law.

They acknowledged new steps forwards in cooperation in agriculture, education-training, connectivity, and agreed the need to further expand collaboration in potential areas such as training labourers to meet demands of the digital economy, strengthening tourism cooperation, and studying the opening of direct air services connecting major and tourist cities of the two countries.

They shared their visions on and committed to increasing cooperation and coordination at international forums, especially within the frameworks of ASEAN, APEC, and the United Nations.

They affirmed to closely cooperate and work together with other ASEAN member states to build an ASEAN Community of unity, self-reliance and inclusive development, promote the bloc’s central role in the region, and actively participate in the process of shaping regional cooperation initiatives.

President Widodo committed to supporting Vietnam when it undertakes the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020.

The two sides also affirmed the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the region, freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea, while closely coordinating with each other as well as other relevant sides to ensure the fully and effectively implementation of the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and early conclusion of an effective, substantial and legal binding Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

After the talks, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and President Widodo held a joint international press conference, announcing their talks’ outcomes.

Prime Minister meets Indonesian business leaders

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (right) and Director of Ciputra Group Budiarsa Sastrawinata.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (right) and Director of Ciputra Group Budiarsa Sastrawinata.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc pledged to create the best possible conditions for foreign investors, including those from Indonesia, during his meetings with leaders of Ciputra Group and PT Nikko Sekuritas Indonesia in Bali, Indonesia, on October 12.

At a meeting with Director of Ciputra Group Budiarsa Sastrawinata, also President of the Indonesia-Vietnam Friendship Association (IVFA), PM Phuc acknowledged the group’s investment projects in Vietnam, including the Ciputra urban area in Hanoi.

He said the Vietnamese Government has made efforts to improve the local business environment and create optimal conditions for investors, including Ciputra.

Budiarsa Sastrawinata told the Vietnamese leader that Ciputra is operating in various spheres such as mining, manufacturing and hotels.

Ciputra has cooperated with various Vietnamese partners, including the Vietnam-Indonesia Friendship Association and the Vietnamese Ambassador in Indonesia to organise business forums, helping promote investment ties between the two countries, he said.

The group will continue to invest in luxury hotels and the Ciputra Hanoi International City, he added, calling for more support from the PM and the Vietnamese Government for the group’s operation, especially its cooperation with Vietnamese partners.

PM Phuc expressed his hope that the association will continue working with its Vietnamese counterpart to boost Vietnam-Indonesia relations.

As two populous countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Vietnam and Indonesia can help reinforce regional development through their bilateral ties, he said.

Meeting with Harianto Solichin, President Director of PT Nikko Sekuritas Indonesia, which provides investment banking, investment management and securities brokerage services, PM Phuc noted the company’s prestige and achievements.

He welcomed the memorandum of understanding on cooperation in building an expressway worth 200 million USD in Jakarta between the Indonesian company and Vietnam’s Licogi 16 JSC.

He noted that the project opens up cooperation opportunities for the two countries in infrastructure construction and other potential realms.

He urged the two sides to launch more projects in Indonesia and Vietnam, and voiced his wish that Nikko will continue supporting Vietnamese investors in Indonesia as well as Indonesian enterprises and regional and international groups in Vietnam, particularly in airport and seaport building.

For his part, Solichin said Nikko has invested in securities in Vietnam for many years and deployed investment projects in its central province of Da Nang.

He extended his wish to receive more attention and favourable conditions from the PM and relevant Vietnamese agencies during the implementation of projects.

PM Phuc suggested Nikko and Licogi 16 become strategic, trustworthy and effective partners, and that the two sides should step up their partnerships in different investment forms, especially the public-private partnership model.

On this occasion, PM Phuc and representatives of some ministries and agencies witnessed the signing of a document on cooperation in infrastructure construction between Nikko and Licogi 16.

Accordingly, the two sides will team up to build the 200 million USD expressway and a commercial centre worth about 50 million USD in Jakarta.

At the same time, Nikko will invest in another solar power project with a capacity of 50MW and a funding of 50 million USD in Vietnam’s central region.

Construction of the projects is expected to begin early next year.

PM discusses trade facilitation with Indonesia’s business leader

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) and Chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN) Rosan Perkasa Roeslani
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) and Chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN) Rosan Perkasa Roeslani

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc met with Chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN) Rosan Perkasa Roeslani on October 12 during his stay in Indonesia for the ASEAN Leaders’ Gathering and a working visit.

The PM took note of the encouraging development of Vietnam-Indonesia ties over the past time, with bilateral trade value reaching 6.5 billion USD in 2017. Indonesia has more than 70 investment projects in Vietnam worth more than 500 million USD.

However, the Vietnamese Government leader said the current trade and investment partnership is still modest compared to potential.

According to him, given its important role in promoting overall economic cooperation and supporting connections between businesses, the KADIN should work closely with its Vietnamese counterpart to push business links between the two countries.

He suggested that the KADIN recommended to the Indonesian Government measures to further facilitate imports from Vietnam, and improve coordination in verifying documents on origin, quality control and quarantine of agricultural and fishery products.

PM Phuc also called for more direct flights between tourist destinations of the two countries, noting that given the large populations of both countries, when only 0.5 percent of the population in one country travel to the other it would still be a significant number.

He asked the KADIN chairman to organize thematic conferences on tourism promotion, affirming that Vietnamese relevant agencies are ready to help with the work.

Rosan Perkasa Roeslani shared the Vietnamese PM’s view that there is room for bilateral trade and investment to expand. He said Vietnam has been successful in opening its market and attracting foreign investment, which he said can be useful experience for Indonesia.

He added that based on his own investment in Vietnam in tourism and hotel business, he wants to promote cooperation between Indonesia and Vietnam in this field.