The 4th Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation between Thailand and Vietnam

The 4th Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation between Thailand and Vietnam

22 Nov 2021

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On 19 November 2021, H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, and H.E. Mr. Bui Thanh Son, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, co-chaired the 4th Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) between Thailand and Vietnam via videoconference.

Under the theme “Advancing Strengthened Strategic Partnership for Sustainable and Resilient Recovery and Growth”, both sides discussed ways to further enhance cooperation at bilateral and multilateral levels to bring tangible benefits for the peoples of both countries, and to support efforts in re-emerging stronger together from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both sides welcomed continued regular exchanges of high-level dialogues between the two countries despite challenges of COVID-19, and discussed possible high-level visits for the year 2022, such as the 4th Joint Cabinet Retreat (JCR) that Vietnam will host.

The meeting was conducted in an atmosphere of friendship and mutual understanding. Summary of key outcomes are as follows:

1. Partnership for Sustainable Growth: Both sides agreed to strengthen cooperation in the following areas, which will support the speedy economic recovery of Thailand and Vietnam from impacts of COVID-19:

- Resumption of Travels: Both sides agreed to further facilitate cross-border travels between the two countries, including through recognition of each other’s COVID-19 vaccine documentations, in order to stimulate trade and business exchanges. The Vietnamese side expressed appreciation to Thailand for permitting fully vaccinated travelers from Vietnam to enter Thailand by air under the Test and Go scheme. The Thai side expressed appreciation for Vietnam’s commitment to further facilitate entry of fully vaccinated travelers from Thailand, especially for business and official travels.

- Public Health: Both sides agreed to strengthen public health cooperation in mutually beneficial areas, such as COVID-19 vaccine research and development, and information sharing.

- Trade and Investment: Both sides agreed to increase bilateral trade and investment to boost economic recovery. At present, Thailand is Vietnam’s largest trading partner in ASEAN and Vietnam is Thailand’s 3rd largest trading partner in ASEAN. Both sides agreed to work closely on the following:
(1) To strive for the bilateral trade target of 25 billion USD by 2025 as agreed by the leaders of both countries. Towards this end, the 3rd Thailand - Vietnam Joint Trade Committee (JTC) should be convened at the earliest opportunity to discuss ways to further facilitate trade and reduce trade obstacles between the two countries;
(2) To promote greater supply chain linkages between the two countries in the context of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), especially in mutually complementary industries;
(3) To further facilitate trade, transportation and transit of goods between the two countries and to third countries, and;
(4) To promote and protect Thai investments in Vietnam. Thailand is currently Vietnam’s 9th largest foreign investor, and Thai investments have significantly contributed to Vietnam’s socio-economic development. At the same time, Thailand welcomes more investment from Vietnam which is continuously expanding in Thailand. Both sides will also accelerate the establishment of the Thai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ThaiCham) and an informal consultation mechanism to promote and protect Thai investments in Vietnam.

Both sides also agreed to promote new areas of cooperation in view of new global economic trends as follows:
(1) Sustainability: Both sides will explore potential collaboration and synergise complementarities between Thailand’s Bio- Circular-Green (BCG) Economy Model and Vietnam’s National Green Growth Strategy (2021 – 2030) to advance a more balanced, sustainable and climate resilient economic development, particularly in potential areas such as renewable energy, sustainable resources management, eco-tourism, food and agricultural products; and
(2) Digital economy: Both sides will advance cooperation on digital economy which will help stimulate trade and investment, tourism, and financial services linkages, as well as promote the use of local currencies for financial transactions between the two countries.

2. Partnership for Sustainable Peace: Both sides agreed to promote regular exchanges of high-level dialogues and strengthen bilateral cooperation on security and defence on the basis of mutual trust, mutual respect and mutual interests. Both sides agreed to promote consultations under existing frameworks to deepen cooperation in the areas of maritime security, Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, as well as new areas of security cooperation, such as military medicine, search and rescue, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and anti-human trafficking.

Both sides agreed to closely consult and coordinate on strategic issues of common interest amidst intensifying major powers competition. Thailand and Vietnam will work together to promote the development of the Mekong sub-region, through various frameworks such as ACMECS, and strengthen ASEAN’s unity and centrality as well as ASEAN’s ability to address challenges within the region. This includes promoting ASEAN’s constructive roles on the situation in Myanmar, particularly the implementation of the Five–Point Consensus of the ASEAN Leaders, and on the issue of South China Sea.

The Thai side expressed appreciation for Vietnam’s strong support for Thailand’s hosting of APEC in 2022.

3. Partnership for Sustainable Future: Both sides welcomed the series of activities in celebration of the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Thailand and Vietnam this year. Both sides agreed to further promote cooperation at the people-to-people level, especially in the fields of science, technology and innovation, education and trainings, youths and local-to-local exchanges. In this spirit, both sides expressed support for the active role of the Friendship Associations, Parliamentarians Friendship Groups and other local associations to continue promoting mutual understanding and deepened people-to-people ties between the two countries.

Both sides also agreed to strengthen development cooperation and explore possible trilateral cooperation with other neighbouring countries in the Mekong sub-region.

Both sides were pleased with the outcomes of the meeting, which will bring about tangible benefits for the peoples of Thailand and Vietnam. At the conclusion of the 4th JCBC Meeting, three MOUs were signed, namely, the MoU on Cooperation between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, the MoU on Cooperation on Cultural Exchange between the Ministries of Culture, and the MoU on the Establishment of Friendship between the Province of Ubon Ratchathani and the Province of Thua Thien Hue.