Vietnam, Brunei desire to go into comprehensive partnership

VOV.VN - Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong and Sultan of Brunei Haji Hassanal Bolkiah have consented to upgrade bilateral relations between the the two nations to a comprehensive partnership at their talks in Hanoi on March 27.

Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong (R) and Sultan of Brunei Haji Hassanal Bolkiah
The top Vietnamese leader highlighted the significance of Bolkiah’s second visit to Vietnam after 21 years, which has marked the two countries’ friendship and cooperation towards taking it to new heights.

Both sides compared notes bilateral ties as well as regional and international issues of shared concern while emphasizing that the establishment of the comprehensive partnership is a result of positive and sustainable developments in bilateral relations over the recent past, thereby stepping up bilateral cooperation in a more effective and practical way, especially in politics, defence-security, trade, investment, education, people-to-people diplomacy, as well as cooperation within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other multilateral frameworks.

The two leaders concurred to strengthen all-level delegation exchanges through all channels to deepen political trust and mutual understanding in order to create a firm foundation for broader cooperation in multiple fields.

They also stressed the importance of maintaining the effective implementation of the Joint Commitment on Bilateral Cooperation, and considered the establishment of new cooperative mechanisms.

The pair held that potential for bilateral economic cooperation has yet to be fully tapped, and consented to lift two-way trade to US$500 million at an early date by intensifying trade and investment as well as business connectivity activities.

Trong praised Brunei for retaining its place as the fourth largest ASEAN investor in Vietnam, with close to 200 projects totaling more than US$1 billion.

Vietnam will continue offering favourable conditions for Bruneian enterprises to do business and investment in Vietnam, particularly in important fields such as infrastructure, energy, high-tech agriculture and industry, food processing, tourism, and services, Trong told his guest.

For his part, the Brunei Sultan vowed to support Vietnam produce products of international halal standards in order to gain access to Muslim markets.

The two sides also praised defence-security cooperation as a spotlight in bilateral relations over the years as well as the effective implementation of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on defence cooperation in 2005 and the MoU on naval cooperation in 2013. 

They were unanimous in working closely together at multilateral defence forums, especially within the ASEAN and ASEAN frameworks, and highlighted the importance of security collaboration amid regional security challenges. 

The two sides pledged to share experience and expand partnership in the fight against trans-national, organised, human trafficking, terrorist, and cyber crimes as well as discussed the signing of agreements on extradition, judicial assistance, and transfer of sentenced persons. 

They welcomed the government-level agreement on the establishment of a hotline to support fisheries at sea. They also pledged to further expand aquaculture cooperation, share information regarding legal enforcement at sea, and cope with security challenges at sea in order to ensure maritime safety and freedom. 

They discussed measures to boost culture-education ties, aviation connectivity, and the facilitation of immigration procedures in order to deepen mutual understanding and the bilateral friendship. 

The Brunei Sultan vowed to consider the host’s proposal to revise the visa waiver agreement by increasing the duration of non-visa stay for diplomatic, official, and general passport holders. 

Regarding regional and global issues of shared concern, the guest congratulated Vietnam for successfully hosting the second DPRK-USA summit in February, thereby raising the country’s stature in the region and the world. 

The two nations will work hand in hand as Vietnam and Brunei take on the roles of ASEAN Chair in 2020 and 2021, respectively. They will contribute to the process of building the ASEAN Community, effectively realise the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, enhance linkage collaboration, narrow the development gap, deepen external relations, and uphold ASEAN’s central role in the regional architecture in the principles of openness, transparency, and inclusiveness. 

They concurred to continue cooperating and coordinating closely at other multilateral forums, particularly the United Nations, ASEAN, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).

Meanwhile, they will foster regional economic connectivity via multilateral economic agreements to which both of them are members, such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTTP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). 

Concerning their consistent stance on the East Sea issue, they affirmed the principle of peacefully settling disputes in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). 

Host and guest underscored the need to consolidate trust as well as the importance of non-militarisation and self-restraint from activities that could complicate tensions in the East Sea. 

They reaffirmed support for the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and the acceleration of negotiations to reach an effective and practical Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) as a roadmap. 

After the talks, the two sides issued a joint declaration on the establishment of the Vietnam-Brunei comprehensive partnership and witnessed the signing of a government-level MoU on the use of a hotline to deal with illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.