Could you quote concrete examples of Vietnam-Malaysia relations in recent years?
Vietnam and Malaysia has been developing fruitful and comprehensive relations through many exchanges of high level visits. The meeting between Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Bin Tun Abdul Razak in April 2010 was important for our bilateral relations in general and for the enhancement of cooperation in areas of trade, investment, banking, labour, tourism, education and training.
Most recently, the visit of the Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang in September 2011 was marked a commitment by both sides to promote wide-ranging cooperation such as security, defense, education, tourism, labour, and sports.
For years, both sides made continuous efforts and shared regional issues of common concern. In ASEAN, Vietnam and Malaysia have agreed to speed up the process of building an ASEAN Community by 2015 as well as to make contributions to the peace, stability cooperation and development of the region.
Alongside with these important visits of both sides, plus the fact that Asia is now becoming a new economic power, I suppose that besides visibly concrete examples, Vietnam and Malaysia will continue to build stronger ties in the years to come.
The Malaysian Technical Co-operation Programme (MTCP) underscores Malaysia’s commitments to promote and facilitate technical cooperation amongst developing countries. How has it worked in Vietnam?
As you may know, the MTCP was officially launched in the 1980s from an idea of the former Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. It signifies Malaysia’s commitments to share and promote technical cooperation among developing countries. The program’s objectives are 1) To share development experience, 2) To strengthen bilateral relations between Malaysia and developing countries, 3) To promote South-South Co-operation, and 4) To promote technical cooperation among developing countries. Over 160 countries have benefited from various programs offered under the MTCP.
The MTCP was first implemented for Vietnam in the early 90s. Since its exertion, the MTCP has provided support and training in the areas of human resource development, regional cooperation, as well as in strategic areas required by Vietnam that had further nurtured towards a collective self-reliance for Vietnam and ASEAN. Under the MTCP, more than 100 short-term specialized courses have been offered by more than 50 various training institutions, many of which are centres of excellence for training.
Vietnam and Malaysia signed a joint declaration on comprehensive cooperation in 2004, according to you, how has this contributed to the relations?
The Vietnam-Malaysia joint declaration on comprehensive cooperation signed in 2004 has been carried out effectively and efficiently in terms of economy, trade, investment, transport, oil and gas, defence, and science.
It has also provided a useful framework to develop wide-ranging bilateral co-operation in all fields of mutual interest. Based on this, both sides are showing their desires to further promote the existing relations and to bring Vietnam-Malaysia ties to a new height in the near future.
Malaysia is one of the most attractive tourism destinations in the world, what are the opportunities for both countries to cooperate in this field?
I believe that tourism is one of the highest potential sectors that both sides can strengthen cooperation in and benefit from. Malaysia has many world heritage sites that have been recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). And so does Vietnam. Our Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board in Vietnam has been conducting extensive promotion and has developed strategic partnerships within the tourism fraternity. We are happy to see that in recent years, there has been increasing interest among Vietnamese travellers to visit Malaysia.
Malaysia is happy to have a number of frequent flights servicing Vietnam and Malaysia. The flights operated by Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia and Vietnam Airlines have given tremendous support for both tourism sectors. And, recently AirAsia launched its Kuala Lumpur – Danang lane. This thus provides each country the possibility to service its tourism sector more effectively.
Together with the Malaysian Tourism Promotion Office in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, we are determined to enhance and to promote cooperation between both countries, in tourism in particular, as well as other sectors.
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