Indonesian Ambassador to Vietnam Pitono Purnomo said that the emphasis in the relationship with Vietnam in 2010 will be to further enhance bilateral trade. Indonesia will also support Vietnam on its assumption of the ASEAN presidency in 2010.
The Indonesian Ambassador made the statement at a media gathering at the end of 2009 in Hanoi, which presented the current relations and the prospects for further developments between Vietnam and Indonesia.
Pitono Purnomo believed that the economies in both countries will recover faster than expected. The global economic recession affected bilateral trade, which came to US$1.7 billion in the first 10 months of 2009. The two parties hoped that with great efforts trade in 2010 will bounce back to US$2.5 billion, matching 2008’s figure.
Positive signs are also visible in cooperation in the areas of investment, tourism and education-training in 2010.
There are 22 Indonesian investment projects in Vietnam with total capital of US$2 billion; putting Indonesia in third place among ASEAN countries and 30th among all countries and territories investing in Vietnam. The ambassador also said that Indonesia wants to attract more Vietnamese investment capital, which currently stands at a mere US$20 million.
About five million foreigners visited Indonesia annually. Of these, Vietnamese arrivals accounted for 25,000, but the figure is increasing. To promote tourism cooperation, the Indonesian Embassy in Vietnam held a meeting with 35 Vietnamese tourist companies.
Cooperation in education-training is also a key part in the relationship between the two countries. The government of Indonesia offered many training programs and scholarships for Vietnamese officials and organizations in 2009. The Indonesian Ambassador said that Indonesia will continue to cooperate with Vietnam in the field in 2010.
Regarding regional cooperation, Ambassador Pitono Purnomo said that Vietnam and Indonesia have shared benefits in creating and maintaining stability in the region and this has created a good atmosphere for regional development. Indonesia appreciates Vietnam’s abilities and responsibilities, which were proven by its role as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.
The two countries have also developed multilateral relations and supported each other in matters of common interest. Indonesia is a member of G-20 and it wants Vietnam to take part in the 2010 G-20 Summit as ASEAN President.
Tran Hai Hau, the head of the Department for Southeast Asia, South Asia and South Asia-Pacific of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told the media gathering that the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs agreed that both countries need to encourage and support businesses and business associations to promote exchange to seek opportunities for bilateral trade and expand the range of import-export items. The two countries also need to boost investment information exchanges and get together to draw-up a mechanism to foster two-way investment.
Vietnam wants to quickly conclude a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on comprehensive cooperation with Indonesia in the areas of energy, petroleum and coal mining, Tran Hai Hau said.
The two countries also want to rapidly sign an additional MoU on national defense cooperation. Vietnam wants to join Indonesia in marine patrols and fishing. “Vietnam hopes for strong support from Indonesia, ASEAN’s biggest member,” said Tran Hai Hau.
Prior to the media gathering, on his visit to Vietnam from November 25-26, 2009, Indonesian new Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa once again affirmed the close relationship between the two countries and expressed a desire to further develop bilateral ties.
Vietnam and Indonesia will celebrate their 55th anniversary of the diplomatic relations in 2010./.
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