PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia � Foreign Minister Anifah Aman is undertaking an official visit to Vietnam from today till July 28 to co-chair the 5th Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) on Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation between Malaysia and Vietnam with his Vietnamese counterpart

Wisma Putra (Malaysian Foreign Ministry) in a statement today said the visit was on the invitation of Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.

The statement said the JCM had an important role to play in promoting bilateral ties, particularly given the establishment of the Strategic Partnership framework which was announced by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and then Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Tan Dung in 2015.

Strategic Partnership lays out a clear framework to enhance bilateral relations and covers areas such as trade and investment, finance, defence and security, agriculture, education, labour, energy, culture, youth and sports, social activities, tourism and transportation, it said.

During the meeting, Wisma Putra said both ministers were expected to take stock of the progress in bilateral ties beside discussing and exchanging views on current regional and international issues of mutual concern.

After co-chairing the JCM, it said Anifah and his counterpart would sign the Agreed Minutes and followed by a press briefing.

During the visit, Anifah will also pay a courtesy call on Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Wisma Putra said since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and Vietnam 44 years ago, bilateral relations between both countries had grown steadily.

That can be described as broad-based and substantive, with both countries enjoying vibrant cooperative relations in a wide range of sectors namely trade and investment, education, security, defence and people-to-people ties, it said.

Trade between Malaysia and Vietnam has increased three-fold over the past 10 years with a total of bilateral trade of US$10.3 billion last year.

Following the agreement to elevate Malaysia-Vietnam relations to Strategic Partnership in 2015, both countries are on course to reach US$15 billion in bilateral trade by 2020.

Vietnam’s investment in Malaysia in 2016 was recorded at US$156 million, an increase of 42.6 per cent from US$89.6 million in 2015.

Malaysia is ranked as the 7th largest FDI contributor in Vietnam with a total registered capital of US$12.3 billion in 2016.

“It is hoped that the visit would further strengthen bilateral relations and provide a platform for Malaysia and Vietnam to build closer rapport and cultivate mutual understanding, and in so doing, further strengthen two fraternal countries, Wisma Putra said.