Thai media highlights significance of President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s visit

Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s upcoming official visit to Thailand marks a new milestone in the relationship between the two countries, according to an article published on ThaiPBSWorld, an English news website by the Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS).
Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (Photo: VNA)
Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (Photo: VNA)

President Phuc, his spouse, and a high-ranking delegation of Vietnam will pay an official visit to Thailand and attend the 29th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, from November 16-19.

The President’s Thailand visit and attendance of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting is made at the invitation of the Prime Minister of Thailand, Prayut Chan-o-cha.

The article, published on November 13, said the two countries have elevated their relations to a strengthened strategic partnership, upgrading from a strategic partnership they have held since 2013.

His visit is very much anticipated, as the leaders have not yet had the opportunity to meet face-to-face.

During the pandemic, bilateral mechanisms such as the Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation, the Political Consultation Group, the Joint Working Group on Political and Security Cooperation and the Joint Trade Committee continued to hold discussions and consultations via virtual meetings, the article said.

As a lower riparian country, Vietnam is also a key driver of development in the Mekong sub-region, especially the revitalised Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS). All along, Vietnam has played a crucial role in highlighting the Mekong’s plights related to water management, biodiversity conservation, migration and fish stocks, among others.

The article noted that during the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020, Vietnam was able to increase external engagement with ASEAN dialogue partners to provide assistance to the Mekong sub-region.

Over the years, Thailand has increased its investment in Vietnam in all business sectors, including real estate, petro-chemicals, alternative energy, retail businesses and food processing. Vietnam is the fifth largest trading partner of Thailand and the second after Malaysia in ASEAN. Last year, bilateral amounted to 19.4 billion USD, a 17.3% increase from the previous year, with a trade surplus of 5.6 billion USD.

Thailand’s investment in Vietnam currently ranks eighth, with a total of 644 projects worth more 13 billion USD. Among the ASEAN members, it ranks second after Singapore.

Thailand and Vietnam have established 14 pairs of sister cities, second only to China with a total of 42 pairs.

The most promising area remains tourism, due to the popularity of Thai destinations among Vietnamese visitors. In the first half of this year, at least 70,000 Vietnamese visited Thailand. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, there were 288 flights weekly, with the capacity to carry nearly 4,839 passengers per day, or 50,970 per week. From January to May this year, a total of 44,000 Vietnamese tourists visited Thailand.