Both ASEAN member countries, Vietnam and Indonesia established diplomatic relations in 1955 and Indonesia was the first country in Southeast Asia to establish diplomatic ties with Vietnam. In 2013, the two countries upgraded their bilateral relationship to a strategic partnership. Vietnam is Indonesia’s sole strategic partnership in Southeast Asia. The two countries have signed many cooperation agreements, including the plan of action to implement the strategic partnership for the 2019-2023 period. The two countries’ localities have also strengthened their cooperation, with four pairs of sister cities and provinces, namely Hanoi-Jakarta, Ba Ria-Vung Tau-Padang, Hue-Yogyakarta and Soc Trang-Lampung.
In ASEAN, Indonesia is Vietnam’s third largest trading partner and Vietnam is Indonesia’s fourth largest trading partner. With 11.5 billion USD in 2021, bilateral trade exceeded 10 billion USD for the first time. In the first ten months of 2022, this value reached 11.6 billion USD. Indonesia has maintained its position as Vietnam’s fifth largest foreign investor in ASEAN and at 29th in the world, with 611.7 million USD in 101 projects, primarily in the fields of manufacturing and accommodation. Vietnam has 17 investment projects in Indonesia with total registered capital of 59 million USD in trade, information technology, agriculture and industry.
On security and defence, the two countries maintain regular delegation exchanges and have signed various cooperation documents and agreements, including the declaration on a joint vision on defence cooperation for the 2017-2022 period. The two countries actively collaborate and take part in security and defence cooperation activities within ASEAN. Cooperation in education, agriculture, fishing, maritime issues, energy and justice has also been cemented and expanded, with concrete and substantive agreements and memorandums of understanding.
Taking place at a time when the two countries are looking to celebrate ten years of strategic partnership in 2023, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s state visit to Indonesia reflects the importance that the two countries attach to the Vietnam-Indonesia strategic partnership, as well as the desire to strengthen bilateral ties in a more substantive and effective manner.
The visit is an important occasion for the two countries’ leaders to discuss and outline the major orientations to continue strengthening political trust and further deepen multi-faceted cooperation, especially in business, trade and investment, enhance collaboration in ASEAN and at multilateral forums and organisations, as well as in regional and international issues of shared concern.
As the first visit by a high-ranking Vietnamese leader after the 13th Party Congress, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s state visit to Indonesia affirms Vietnam’s foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, cooperation and development; diversification and multilateralisation of relations, continuing to deepen foreign relations, including those with neighbouring countries and important partners in ASEAN.
May President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s state visit to Indonesia be a great success, creating an impetus toward taking the Vietnam-Indonesia strategic partnership to a new stage of development with greater trust, depth, effectiveness and substance, contributing to peace, security, cooperation and development in the region and the world at large.