Vaccination certs, trade and investment among issues to discuss during PM’s visit to Vietnam

HANOI, March 19 (Bernama) — The post-pandemic economic recovery in various sectors including trade, investment, and tourism, as well as recognition of vaccination certificates between Malaysia and Vietnam are among the focus of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s three-day official visit to Vietnam beginning tomorrow.

Foreign Ministry deputy secretary-general Datuk Amran Mohamed Zin said the Vietnamese authorities informed that the country had recognised Malaysia’s vaccination certificate and that Malaysia welcomed the decision as it was one of the aspects of cooperation that Malaysia wanted to have within ASEAN and also with ASEAN strategic partners.

“It’s just that on the Malaysian side, the recognition for Vietnam’s vaccination certificate is still being actively looked into by the relevant ministries, especially MOSTI (Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation).

“Maybe during the visit, the Prime Minister will make an announcement on the latest development on the recognition of the certificate in line with the reopening of Malaysian borders.

“We will also look into the procedures that need to be set between the two countries to facilitate travelling between Malaysia and Vietnam for all categories of travellers, tourists, business and even students too,” he told a press conference with the Malaysian media here today.

Amran said Vietnam had opened its borders on March 15 and the visit would provide an opportunity for the two countries to discuss post-pandemic matters.

He said the number of tourist arrivals from Malaysia to Vietnam was quite high in 2019 as over 600,000 were recorded, while those from Vietnam to Malaysia were just over 400,000.

Trade cooperation between the two countries in 2021 was around US$16 billion.

During a joint committee meeting between Malaysia and Vietnam last year, a preliminary agreement was reached for the two countries to achieve a trade value of US$18 billion by 2025.

“Of course, this matter will be discussed by the Prime Minister with his Vietnamese counterpart and we will set the final target during the top-level discussion.

“In terms of investment, Malaysian investors do have relatively huge investment in Vietnam,” he said.

Amran said Malaysia is the ninth-largest trading partner for Vietnam and Vietnam was the 19th largest trading partner for Malaysia globally.

He said the value of Malaysia’s investment in Vietnam in 2021 was US$12.81 billion, making Malaysia the eighth largest investor in the country, while the value of Vietnam’s investment in Malaysia was still at a level that needed to be improved.

“The Prime Minister will most likely invite Vietnamese investors to come to Malaysia to balance the value of bilateral investments as Malaysia has so many investment opportunities to offer,” he added.

Meanwhile, Wisma Putra in a statement said the Prime Minister’s maiden official visit to Vietnam was on the invitation of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

It said during the visit, the two leaders would hold a meeting to assess the development of the implementation of the Malaysia-Vietnam Strategic Partnership Action Plan 2021-2025.

The two leaders will also exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest as well as witness the exchange of documents including a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on legal cooperation activities as well as the recruitment, employment, and repatriation of workers.

“Malaysia and Vietnam have also agreed to explore cooperation in diplomatic training field which will be materialised through a Letter of Intent. Apart from that, a Professional Cooperation Agreement between the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) and the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) will also be inked,” the statement said.

The Prime Minister is also scheduled to hold separate meetings with the Secretary-General of the Communist Party of Vietnam, the President of Vietnam, and the Chairman of the Vietnamese House of Representatives.

The Prime Minister will also hold engagement sessions with the Malaysian business community and Malaysian families in Vietnam.

The statement said the official visit reflected the importance of Malaysia-Vietnam relations as neighbours and partners in ASEAN with the two countries set to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in 2023.

During the visit, the Prime Minister will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah, Senior Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali and senior government officials.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency