Jakarta. Indonesia and Vietnam have agreed to deepen their strategic partnership, noting low efficiency and a number of untapped potentials, during a meeting between their leaders in Jakarta on Wednesday (23/08).
"Cooperation in certain areas, especially in economics, has been slow, with low efficiency [that does not match] the huge potentials and aspirations of both sides," the secretary general of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Nguyễn Phú Trong, said during a press meeting.
As the communist party's leader, Nguyễn holds the highest political authority in Vietnam.
Delegations of both countries signed six memoranda of understanding, seeking to increase cooperation in education, rural development, coal exports, gas utilization, law, and between the Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla) and the Vietnamese Coast Guard.
Indonesia and Vietnam established their strategic partnership in 2013. According to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, trade between the countries has been experiencing a steady increase since the past three years.
Indonesia is Vietnam's fourth largest trading and fifth largest investment partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
Last year, the value of trade between Indonesia and Vietnam reached $6.2 billion.
"We discussed the various steps we need to take, and new initiatives that we must embark on, so that we can reach our trade target of $10 billion," Jokowi said.
He added that it has been agreed that the countries will speed up negotiations on the demarcation of their exclusive economic zones (EEZ), and will increase cooperation in combating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
Indonesia and Vietnam have overlapping claims over their respective EEZs located in the waters off Natuna, Riau Islands.
During his speech at a welcome dinner at the Raffles Hotel in Jakarta, Nguyễn expressed optimism that this visit will "establish new progress and new momentum in bilateral relations."
"We agreed to increase high-level contacts and exchange visits at all levels, through party-to-party, government-to-government, people-to-people and locality-to-locality ties, to seek appropriate solutions to the pending issues, to create conducive environment for mutual investment, to continue to work closely with each other," he said, adding that Vietnam has been working to create attractive investment climate to transform its growth model, restructure its economy, and intensify industrialization and modernization.
Vietnam aims to achieve an annual growth rate of 6.7 percent from the current 6.5 percent and increase its gross domestic product (GDP) per capita from $3,200 to $3,500 by 2020.
Nguyễn also said that Vietnam welcomes foreign investors and enterprises, as it is "making efforts to remove unnecessary barriers, accelerate reform amendments and create legal foundation and infrastructure for foreign investment and business activities."
Jokowi and Nguyễn also discussed the importance of Asean unity, and agreed to work together to implement the 2025 Asean community vision and to make Asean a driving force to ensure regional peace, stability and welfare.
Vietnam is currently chair of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and is going to host its summit in November.
After the first in history visit by a Vietnamese communist party leader to Indonesia, Nguyễn is going to Myanmar.