Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vietnam-Cambodia to sign visa exemption agreement

VietNamNet Bridge - The Cambodian Prime Minister, Hun Sen, will pay an official visit to Vietnam on November 4-5 at the invitation of his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Tan Dung, to reinforce the traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries.

During the visit, the two PMs will discuss measures to boost cooperation across all fields, particularly with regard to the economy, trade and investment, to accelerate land border demarcation and landmark plantation, and promote coordination between the two countries at regional and multilateral forums.

The first visit of PM Hun Sen during his fourth term (September 2008-2013) will be made in the context of growing bilateral relations under the motto “best neighbourliness, traditional friendship and comprehensive and long-lasting cooperation”.

The two countries have exchanged a number of visits by high-level delegations. After his coronation in October 2004, Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni twice visited Vietnam, first in March 2006 and again in June 2008. Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet visited Cambodia in February 2007.

Last March, PMs Hunsen and Nguyen Tan Dung had a meeting at the 3rd Greater Mekong Sub-region summit (GMS3) in Vietiane, Laos.The two sides convened the fourth meeting on cooperation and development of their border provinces in February 2008 and the third session of the Joint Commission for Economic, Cultural and Scientific-Technological Cooperation last October.

During the official visit to Vietnam, PM Hunsen will attend the third Ayeyawadi-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Summit (ACMECS) and the fourth Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam Summit (CLMV) in Hanoi from November 4-7. The two countries have enjoyed significant progress in their economic, trade and investment cooperation. Two-way trade has been steadily increasing, from $180 million in 2000 to almost $1.2 billion in 2007. It hit $903 million in the first half of 2008 hit. They have set a target of $2 billion in two-way trade turnover by 2010.

Vietnam’s investment in Cambodia reached the $100 million mark in 2007. The two countries’ levels of cooperation in matters such as education and training, energy, health care, transport, and national security and defence have advanced considerably.

The two sides have enjoyed a good working relationship in dealing with issues related to the borderline and border security and order, and have agreed to complete the border demarcation and landmark plantation project by 2012. The two countries have also worked to increase cooperation within a number of international organisations, such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and other regional and international cooperation mechanisms, including the Mekong River Commission (MRC), the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), the East-West Economic Corridor Development Programme (EWEC), and the Ayeyawady-Chao Praya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS).

The two sides planed to sign a visa exemption agreement, the agreement on the point of connection for the Singapore – Kunming railway, the agreement on commodity transit, the cooperation agreement between the Radio Voice of Vietnam and the Cambodia Royal Radio, and the cooperation program between the Ministry of Information and Communications of Vietnam and the Cambodia Information Ministry.

The two countries are negotiating to admen the agreement on waterway transportation and other agreements on mining, industry and energy.

Vietnam and Cambodia also agreed to complete planting land border landmarks by 2012.

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