Friendship cooperation between Myanmar and Vietnam

Update: 09:40 | 26/05/2018
On the occasion of 43 years of diplomatic relations between Myanmar and Vietnam (28 May 1975 - 28 May 2018), Myanmar Ambassador to Vietnam Kyaw Soe Win granted The World and Vietnam Report an exclusive editorial. We kindly introduce the full text of this article.
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"Myanmar and Vietnam established diplomatic relations on 28 May 1975. Since then, the cooperation between our two countries has developed based on traditional ties of friendship and understanding.

Myanmar held its first Independence Day Reception on January 4, 1948 in Yangon with the attendance of Minister Dr. Pham Ngoc Thach from the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam). In response to the Minister’s call for support the fledgling democratic State of Vietnam in its early establishment stage, Myanmar agreed to send a young delegation to go to North Vietnam. The young Myanmar delegation went to North Vietnam on January 19, 1948 by airplane and train through Thailand, Laos and continued on a foot journey to Regional Commander (4) headquarter in Thanh Hoa Province. During Vietnam’s struggle for independence, Myanmar provided arms, ammunitions and pharmaceutical items to fight against the French.

Soon after beginning the relations with Vietnam, Myanmar opened a Consular Office in Ha Noi on 27 December 1957. The two countries officially upgraded the diplomatic ties to Ambassadorial level on 28 May 1975. The Embassy of Myanmar was opened in Thong Nhat Hotel (Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi nowadays) on 25 May 1975 and has been moved to the current address in Kim Ma Street, Van Phuc Diplomatic Compound since 1984.

This year marks the 43rd anniversary of our diplomatic relations. There have been a total of 18 Myanmar Ambassador accredited to Vietnam. They have been working hard to maintain and promote our traditional friendly relations.

The 43 years have witnessed increasing high-level contacts at different levels from Party, State, Government, National Assembly and people-to-people, navigating the bilateral relations to a higher level.

Notably, during the historical State visit of General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong to Myanmar in August 2017, the two countries elevated their ties to a comprehensive cooperative partnership. The recent official visit of State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to Vietnam has reaffirmed our determination in boosting the comprehensive cooperation in all areas.

friendship cooperation between myanmar and vietnam
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc met with Myanmar State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, April 2018.

Facts proved that strengthening trusted and close political relations between our two countries have paved the way for the growth of other mutually beneficial areas of cooperation. In 2017, the volume of two-way trade reached nearly by $ 830 million, up 51 % over 2016, exceeding the $US 500 million target set by the two countries. Vietnam has become the 9th largest trading partner of Myanmar and the 7th largest foreign investor in Myanmar with 17 projects and $US 2.1 billion registered capital, accounting for 2.8 % of total investment in Myanmar.

In recent years, the two countries have continued to maintain and promote bilateral cooperation mechanisms by frequently conducting the meetings of the Joint Committee for Bilateral Cooperation and the Joint Sub-Committee on Trade. The ninth meeting of Myanmar - Vietnam Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation is expected to be organized this year after two years of postponement.

Political references have also generated some common views between the two countries on regional and international issues. The two countries have regularly exchanged information, consulted on issues of mutual interest, always expressed as partners, trusted friends, support each other in regional and international forums, such as United Nations, ASEAN, Combodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietanm Cooperation (CLMV), Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) and Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS). We believe that close cooperation between Myanmar and Vietnam in international affairs would be in the interest of both countries and conducive to peace and stability of the region.

friendship cooperation between myanmar and vietnam
Ambassador Kyaw Soe Win (L) and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Recent developments in bilateral defense-security cooperation have also been highly valued, both bilaterally and multilaterally. In 2017, defense cooperation between the two countries has many important achievements and highlights, notably the visit of Senior General Min Aung Hlaing from 5 to 8 March 2017 and the visit of Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich from 1 to 3 October 2017, and Mytel Telecom Joint Venture Company (a joint venture of Viettel and its partners in Myanmar) officially came into operation.  In 2017, defense cooperation was significantly enhanced with four focus areas: military medical cooperation, defense industry, military telecommunications, and military training.

Growing relationship of mutual understanding and close cooperation in various areas over the past years have brought our peoples together. More than thousands of Vietnamese people have been studying and working in Myanmar and an increasing number of Myanmar – Vietnamese families in recent years will contribute to tightening and prolonging our true friendship in the years to come.

Forty three years is not a short journey. We have inherited the concrete foundation laid by our ancestors to overcome all odds and taste the sweet results of 43 years of cooperation and development. It is our firm belief that our friendship and cooperation may grow stronger in our long journey ahead."

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