Viet Nam, Thailand agree to strengthen bilateral ties
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung being received by Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej in Bangkok. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
BANGKOK — Viet Nam and Thailand will further boost multilateral co-operation, focusing on trade and investment activities in the coming years, prime ministers of both countries said in Bangkok yesterday.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, who was visiting Thailand for the first time in his official capacity, told his counterpart, Thai Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont, that he hoped the visit would further fortify fruitful co-operation between the two countries.
During the discussion, Dung said the Vietnamese government would do its best to co-operate effectively with Thailand for the benefit of the two peoples and for peace and stability in the Southeast Asian region and the world.
Thai Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont welcomed Dung's visit, and said that it was proof of growing friendship and multilateral co-operation between the two countries, especially this year, when both nations were celebrating the 30th anniversary of official diplomatic relations.
Chulanont thanked the Vietnamese government for supporting Thai enterprises in Viet Nam, and expressed his hope at having effective co-operation in the future.
The two prime ministers agreed to promote trade activities and bring bilateral trade turnover to US$5 billion in the coming years. Last year, bilateral trade between the two reached $3.1 billion, and this year, it was expected to reach 3.4 billion.
They also agreed to mutual visits by high ranking delegations at central and provincial levels, and boost collaboration in epidemic prevention such as bird flu, foot and mouth disease.
Prime Minister Dung welcomed the verdict by Bangkok Criminal Court to extradite Ly Tong, a Vietnamese born American who hijacked a plane to illegally enter Vietnamese air space in 2000. He extended Viet Nam's appreciation for the support shown by the Thai government in the case enabling Viet Nam to proceed as per law. Dung said Viet Nam hoped to receive similar support from Thai government in the case of Vo Van Duc, another Vietnamese born American who tried to bomb the Vietnamese Embassy in 2001.
Dung also thanked Thailand for supporting Viet Nam in joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation Leaders' Meeting held in Viet Nam last month and the country's candidacy for the non-permanent member seat of the United Nation's Security Council for 2008-09.
He also thanked the Thai government for sending condolences and providing financial support of US$50,000 to help Vietnamese people who suffered great losses during Typhoon Durian earlier this month.
The two prime ministers later witnessed the signing of a joint statement on security of the two countries and a joint statement on general strategy for economic partnership between the two countries.
Earlier in the day, Dung paid a courtesy visit to Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, and expressed his appreciation for the warm welcome given to him and his delegation by Thai Royalty, government and people.
He praised the King for leading the country into stability, and hoped, under the guidance of the King, the Thai people would successfully stabilise the country and concentrate on development.
The Thai King expressed his pleasure in hosting the Vietnamese guests, praised the achievements gained during Viet Nam's renewal process and hoped the visit would further boost co-operation between the two countries.
In the morning, Dung also attended the opening of the 1.6km second Friendship Bridge linking Thailand and Laos as part of a project to improve transport and trade among countries in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta region.
The $70 million bridge spans the Mekong River and connects Thailand's north-eastern Mukdahan Province with Savannakhet Province of Laos. The project is part of a regional effort to link Thailand and Myanmar, via Laos, to the Vietnamese port city of Da Nang on the East Sea. — VNS
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