Vietnam-Cambodia relations have vital meaning for each country’s cause of national protection, construction, and development, a Cambodian scholar gave his remarks on the occasion of the visit paid to Phnom Penh by Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc last week.
|Vietnam’s President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) and Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen in Phnom Penh on Dec 21. Photos: VNA|
The relationship brings practical benefits to the people of both countries and contributes to the maintenance of peace, cooperation, and development in the region and around the world, Uch Leang is a Researcher on Asian, African, and Middle East of International Relations Institute of Cambodia, shared with The Hanoi Times.
“With a long tradition of solidarity and important achievements being attained in the past year, together with the political determination of senior leaders of the two countries, I believe that the good neighborly relations with traditional friendship, comprehensive and long-term sustainable cooperation between Cambodia and Vietnam will overcome all difficulties and challenges and get more great results,” he said.
Uch Leang went on to say that the two neighboring countries that share land and sea borders have stuck together and helped each other for a long time in history. The relations keep a strong momentum.
With a long-time cozy bilateral relation in history and the goodwill from both countries, bilateral ties will continue to develop and reach new heights in the future, he noted.
Despite the impact of the Covid–19 pandemic, the two countries continued maintaining political dialogues namely the telephone call between General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong and Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 3, 2021; the phone talk between Vietnam’s President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Hun Sen on April 5, 2021; the telephone conversation between Vietnam’s PM Pham Minh Chinh and Hun Sen on April 6, 2021 and the face-to-face bilateral meeting on April 23, 2021 on the sidelines of the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting in Jakarta; the meeting between Hun Sen and Nguyen Phu Trong, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and Pham Minh Chinh during the Cambodia-Laos-Viet Nam Leaders’ Summit held on September 26, 2021 in Hanoi. And the latest visit to Cambodia on December 21-22 by President Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
Strengthening relations amid Covid-19 pandemic
According to the expert, the relations have been tightened in multiple fields including politics, economics, cooperation in Covid-19, and mutual support at international forums.
In terms of trade and investment, in the first 10 months of 2021, bilateral trade grew 87.5% on-year to US$7.873 billion. Cambodia’s exports to Vietnam reached $3.942 billion, up 369% and Vietnam’s shipments to Cambodia rose 17.1% to $3.931 million compared to the 2020 period, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.
In the first 9 months of 2021, Cambodia exported 5.93 million tons of agricultural products to 90 countries and territories, of which, the amount exported to Vietnam accounted for 64.11%, followed by Thailand (21.49%), China (9.69%), according to the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
Recently, the Covid-19 pandemic could not hinder Vietnam’s investment in Cambodia, which reached $2.85 billion in 188 projects so far, ranking second among 78 countries and territories that Vietnam has invested in (behind Laos).
Vietnam started investing in Cambodia in 2005, mainly in agriculture, banking, and telecommunications in Phnom Penh, Kratie, Mondulkiri, and Svay Rieng.
The two countries also witnessed several developments in other sectors such as tourism, people-to-people exchange, culture, education-training, and health.
Concerning Covid-19, both countries strengthened cooperation in the prevention of the pandemic. In May 2021, Vietnam donated 800 ventilators, 2 million medical masks, 300,000 N95 masks, and other medical equipment to Cambodia. Previously, Vietnam had provided Cambodia with much medical equipment such as protective gear, medical masks, Covid-19 testing equipment, and $200,000. In return, Cambodia has donated 200,000 doses of Sinopharm Vaccine to Vietnam in October 2021, according to the expert.
Over the past time, top leaders of both countries appreciated the historical significance of the signing of two legal documents recognizing 84% of land demarcation and stating efforts to settle the remaining 16% of the year-long plan.
In addition, Vietnam and Cambodia also strengthened cooperation in many fields, especially Vietnam’s support for Cambodia to fulfill the role of ASEAN Chair in 2022 and solve other regional and international issues, Uch Leang noted.
The two countries affirmed their mutual support in international forums, especially within the framework of ASEAN cooperation and ASEAN-led mechanisms, United Nations, WTO, ASEM, and Mekong Sub-region cooperation mechanisms, he emphasized.