Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (left) meets with Myanmar's President U Win Myint in capital Nay Pyi Taw on December 17, 2019. Photo: VGP
1. At the invitation of H.E. U Win Myint, President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and his Spouse Cho Cho, H.E. Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam made his first official visit to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar from December 16-18, 2019. Together with the recent high-level visits, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s visit continues to affirm the closeness between the two countries as well as the importance that they two countries attach to their Comprehensive Cooperative Partnership.
2. During the visit, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended the welcome ceremony and official banquet hosted by President U Win Myint and met with President U Win Myint; held talks with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi; met with Speaker of the Union Assembly T Khun Myat; received Chief Minister of Yangon Region Phyo Min Thein and Chairman of the Myanmar-Viet Nam Friendship Association U Tint Swai; visited the Embassy of Viet Nam in Myanmar and met with the Vietnamese community in Myanmar.
3. On the accasion, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi witnessed the signing ceremony of a Plan of Action for implementation of the Viet Nam-Myanmar Comprehensive Cooperative Partnership for 2019-2024 period, a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooeration in Agriculture and Rural Development between the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Myanmar’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation; a Memorandum of Understadning on Cooperation between the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Myanmar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and a diplomatic note amending the Agreement on visa exemption for ordinary passport holders of Viet Nam and Myanmar, which was signed on September 26, 2013.
4. The leards expressed that they attach great importance to the long-lasting friendship and close cooperation between the two countries, which were established by President Ho Chi Minh and General Aung San and cultivated by generations of leaders and people from both countries. The two sides expressed their pleasure at the fine developments of the Viet Nam-Myanmar Comprehensive Cooperative Partnership established in 2017 on the occasion of H.E. Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.
5. The leaders welcomed positive outcomes of President U Win Myint’s visit to Viet Nam in May 2019 on the occasion of the United Nations Day of Vesak celebration. In that spirit, the two sides agreed to maintain the exchange of delegations at all levels and across channels; asking relevant ministries and agencies to fully and effectively realize the Plan of Action for implementation of the Viet Nam-Myanmar Comprehensive Cooperative Partnership for 2019-2024 period. The two sides agreed to work closely together in organizing activities to mark the 45th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic relations (May 28, 1975-May 28, 2020) in order to further improve their people’s understanding about the traditional relationship between Viet Nam and Myanmar. The leaders also agreed to foster people-to-people exchanges through various measures, including strengthening the role of the Viet Nam-Myanmar Friendship Assoaciation and the Myanmar-Viet Nam Friendship Association.
6. The leaders underlined the importance of the bilateral cooperation mechanisms, welcoming the outcomes of the 9th session of the Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation held in Ha Noi in March 2019 and the 10th session of the Joint Sub-committee on trade cooperation that took place in Myanmar in September, during which both sides figured out comprehensive and effective measures to boost all-round cooperation in various fields. On such basis, the leaders tasked the relevant ministries and agencies to fruitfully deploy the Minutes of the aforesaid sessions.The two sides also expressed their pleasure at the success of the deputy ministerial-level political consultation between the Foreign Ministries of Viet Nam and Myanmar in Ha Noi on November 14, 2019.
7. The leaders agreed to step up the exchange of delegations and bilateral cooperation mechanisms in defense and security, including early establishment of a defense policy dialogue at deputy defense ministerial and chief of general staff levels in 2019; expand cooperaiton in potential areas like military medicine, military industry, logistics, search-rescure; strengthen cooperation in combating crime related to national security at bilateral and regional levels, including terrorism, human smuggling as well as non-traditional security matters, especially management of crossborder water resources. Both sides pledged not to allow any individuals or organizations to use one country’s territory to conduct sabotage activities against the other country and tasked the relevant agencies to promptly finalize a Memorandum of Understanding on mutual assisntace in criminal matters.
8. The leaders emphasized the importance of further enhancing connectivity between the two economies in the context of increasing protectionism in the region and the world. The two sides expressed their pleasure at the achievements in the bilateral trade and investment cooperation over the past years, in which the two-way trade volume reached US$ 860 million in 2018 and around US$ 1.05 bullion in 2019, surpassing the preset target of US$ 1 billion for 20202. Viet Nam is the 7th largest foreign investor in Myanmar with 18 projects worth US$ 2.2 billion. The two sides committed to doubling Viet Nam’s investment in Myanmar through an extensive economic cooperation strategy which will be jointly developed by both sides by the end of 2020. The two sides welcomed the establishment of a club of Vietnamese investors in Myanmar in a bid to contribute to promoting Viet Nam’s investment in Myanmar.
9. To realize the above goal, the Myanmar side acknowledged and agreed to soon consider Viet Nam’s proposals on (i) symplifying customs clearance and quarantine procedures in bilateral trade; (ii) reducing the list of exports subject to licenses in accordance to the practices nad rules of the World Trade Organization; (iii), establishing an industrial park in line with the relevant laws of Myanmar. The two sides agreed to consider accelerating trade and investment promotion activities for mutual benefits. Viet Nam asked Myanmar to create favorable environment for investors of the two sides, especially in the fields of banking, aviation, telecommunication, minerals, information technology, technological services, tourism, consumer goods production, insurance, and oil and gas services electricity, healthcare, and education.
10. The leaders expressed their pleasure at the positive growth of cooperation in other domains and pledged to explore cooperation opportunities in (i) cultivation of industrial crops and rice varieties, aquaculture, and prompt finalization of an Agreement on forestry cooperation; (ii) transport connectivity between the two countries and with other countries in the Mekong Subregion, including construction of roads along the East-West Economic Corridor; (iii) information technology and telecommunication; (iv) development of joint tourism products; (v) law-making and justice, including negotiation and signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on law and justic cooperation; (vi) protection of natural resources and environment, including early finalization of a Memorandum of Understanding on natural resources and environment; (vii) enhanced cooperation in culture, sports, arts; (viii) and information and communication.
11. The two sides agreed to maintain close coordination and cooperation at regional and international forums, especially ASEAN, ASEAN-led mechanisms, the United Nations, World Trade Organization, Asia-Europe Meeting, Non-aligned Movement, and Mekong Sub-region mechanisms like CLMV, GMS and ACMECS; consolidate and promote ASEAN solidarity and resilience; strengthen ASEAN centrality as well as the bloc’s rile in addressing regionla challenges; accelerate coordination at sub-regional cooperation mechanisms on sustainable development, connectivity, information and communication technology. The two sides committed to supporting a transparent, free, open, inclusive and rule-based multilateral trading system led by the World Trade Organization as well as on-going reform process of the World Trade Organization. The Myanmar side reaffirmed their support for Viet Nam to undertake the role as ASEAN Chair 2020 and non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for 2020-2021 tenure.
12. The leaders reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace, stability, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea; emphasizing the importance of settling disputes through peaceful means on the basis of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), avoiding the use or threat to use force. The two sides underlined the importance of full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and finalization of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea that is effective, real and legally-binding in accordance with the roadmap agreed by the relevant sides.
13. The Myanmar side extended thanks for the Vietnamese Government’s thorough understanding of the situation in Rakhine state and for its grant of US$ 100,000 for humanitarian and reconstruction efforts in the Rakhine state. Viet Nam expressed continued support for Myanmar’s efforts to ensure peace, stability and rule of law as well as harmonization process in order to safeguard sustainable and fair development in the Rakhine state. The leaders spoke highly of the support offered by ASEAN and the ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance to Myanmar to address humanitarian issues in the Rakhine state.
14. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc expressed his gratitude for the hospitality, cordiality and warm-hearted reception that President U Win Myint accorded to him and to the members of his delegation./.