This is the first official visit to Vietnam by Aung San Suu Kyi, taking place in the context of increased political trust and cooperation between the two nations, especially when the two countries elevated their ties to a comprehensive cooperative partnership during the State visit to Myanmar by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong in August 2017.
Located in Southeast Asia with an area of 676,577 square metres, Myanmar is very rich in natural resources. With more than half of its area covered by forest, Myanmar provides the world with about 40 million cubic meters of timber each year, of which 30% is teak. Myanmar has 135 ethnic groups and tribes, of which the Burmese make up 68% of the population. Over the past few years, Myanmar has achieved encouraging achievements in promoting national reconciliation, national development and international integration. In economic terms, Myanmar has undertaken strong reform measures to boost investment and trade. Measures to promote economic growth have brought positive results. Specifically, Myanmar maintained a GDP growth rate of over 7% per year from 2012 to 2015, and roughly 8% in the 2016-2017 period. As a member of ASEAN and the United Nations, Myanmar firmly pursues its foreign policy of independence, activeness, and establishing friendly political relations with all countries around the world, particularly the neighbouring countries in the region.
Vietnam and Myanmar share many similarities in terms of history and culture and soon established diplomatic ties. The friendly relations and cooperation between the two countries have been marked by high-level visits by the leaders of the two countries. In particular, during the state visit to Myanmar by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in August 2017, the two sides issued a joint statement on their comprehensive cooperative partnership, opening up a new page in the cooperative relations between the two countries. The two countries also carried out many practical activities to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in 2015. The Vietnamese people always remember the warm support and assistance of the Government and people of Myanmar towards the country’s revolutionary cause and construction.
Economic cooperation, trade and investment between Vietnam and Myanmar have seen dynamic development. By 2017, two-way trade reached US$828.3 million, up 51% compared to 2016. Vietnam is Myanmar's seventh largest investor with 70 projects and a total registered capital of nearly US$2 billion. During the state visit to Myanmar by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in August 2017, the two sides signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Trade Cooperation between the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam and the Ministry of Trade of Myanmar. The two countries also set up a joint commission on economic cooperation and annual political consultation between the two ministries of foreign affairs, to regularly exchange specific measures to promote cooperation in such areas as agriculture and forestry, aquaculture, husbandry, banking and finance, telecommunications, and transportation, etc.
Vietnam and Myanmar have closely cooperated in international forums, such as the United Nations, ASEAN, and other cooperative mechanisms such as the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), and the cooperation among Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV). The two countries also regularly coordinate and support each other in regional and international forums.
Taking place in the context that the comprehensive cooperative partnership between Vietnam and Myanmar has been increasingly strengthened in a deep and effective manner, the official visit to Vietnam by Myanmar State Counsellor, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister of the President’s Office Aung San Suu Kyi aims to foster the bilateral cooperation in all fields, contributing to deepening the comprehensive cooperative partnership between Vietnam and Myanmar, for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and around the world.