Bright future for the strategic partnership

Update: 10:05 | 19/08/2017
"The PM's visit to Thailand this time will certainly enhance our stronger bonds and continuously intensify our strategic partnership in all areas, particularly economic cooperation" - Thai Ambassador to Vietnam Manopchai Vongphakdi stressed in an interview with The World & Vietnam Report, ahead of the official visit to Thailand of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his spouse (17-19 August), following the invitation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha.
bright future for the strategic partnership Vietnam aims for deeper relations with Thailand through PM’s visit
bright future for the strategic partnership Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to pay official visit to Thailand

What is your expectation about the visit? Is there any breakthrough in bilateral relations after this visit?

Thailand is honored to welcome H.E. Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to visit Thailand during 17-19 August 2017.

Prime Minister Phuc has visited Thailand before when he was Chairman of Quang Nam Provincial People’s Committee to attend Thailand – Vietnam Joint Cabinet Meeting in Nakorn Phanom in 2004 and subsequently as Deputy Prime Minister joining H.E. Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam during his visit to Thailand in 2013 during which our two countries have raised our relations to the Strategic Partnership.

bright future for the strategic partnership
PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his spouse.

Therefore, Prime Minister Phuc has been actively involved in promoting cooperation between Thailand and Vietnam.

His visit to Thailand this time will certainly enhance our stronger bonds and continuously intensify our strategic partnership in all areas, particularly economic cooperation. Our two leaders will have a chance discuss a wide range of issues of mutual interests.

The accompanying Ministers from Vietnam will also have opportunity to meet their counterparts in Bangkok. Moreover, there are many Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding which are ready to be signed during the visit. Hence, we are looking forward to the fruitful official visit.

Could you assess the potentials and prospects of the relations in the coming time bilaterally and within ASEAN framework?

Vietnam has been an important partner of Thailand in ASEAN and the world. A testimony in that respect was that Vietnam is the only country in ASEAN which Thailand has established the Strategic Partnership with back in the year 2013.

It is also important to note that last year we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the establishment of our diplomatic relations. This year we celebrate 50th anniversary of ASEAN.

It can be said that our two countries have been committed to continuously expand our multi-facet cooperative relations bilaterally and regionally at all levels and in all areas including political, trade, investment, development, defence, security and between the peoples of the two countries.

In your opinion, how does the relationship between Vietnam and Thailand mean in building the ASEAN Community?

Thailand and Vietnam, together with other ASEAN Member States, have been a driving force to move ASEAN forward and to raise its profile and presence internationally to become a vibrant organization it is today.

The recent Joint Communiqué of the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in the Philippines early this month truly demonstrated solidarity and centrality of ASEAN as well as our shared visions on many issues .

By the same token, the establishment of the ASEAN Community in 2015 comprising of ASEAN Political-Security Community, ASEAN Economic Community and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community has given our two countries another impetus to work even closer together towards a common goal.

However, we should not forget that Vietnam and Thailand’s partnership has extended beyond ASEAN.

Together, we strengthen our cooperation in various regional and global frameworks, such as the Mekong River Commission (MRC), Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS), East Asia Summit (EAS), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) and the United Nations, to name a few.

In this regard, Vietnam has Thailand’s full support in hosting the APEC Summit scheduled to be held in Da Nang in November 2017.

What is your assessment about the similarities between Thailand and Vietnam and your memories during living and working in Vietnam?

Evidently, Thailand and Vietnam share geographical proximity, cultural similarities and our sense of common identity as a part of ASEAN Community.

In addition, we also share aspirations and objectives in achieving national political stability, economic development to improve the quality of life of our peoples as well as the regional peace and prosperity based on mutual trust and understanding.

Personally, my memories of Vietnam can be dated back when I first joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Attaché in Southeast Asia Division in 1989. Since that time, our two countries have come a long way in building strong and solid relationship.

I am also very impressed with Vietnam’s rapid economic growth during the past few years. Therefore, I could not be more honored to be appointed Thailand’s Ambassador to Vietnam and I will definitely cherish the memories of the country and the people I made during my tenure here.

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Pham Hang

(TGVN)