This is President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev's first visit to Vietnam since taking office in 2019, and the first visit of a Kazakh President to Vietnam in the past 12 years.
This event is an important milestone in the good traditional friendship between Vietnam and Kazakhstan, creating a new impetus for bilateral cooperation.
Located in a favourable position connecting Asia and Europe, Kazakhstan is implementing many connectivity programmes and initiatives to realise its goal of becoming a transit and logistics hub in Central Asia.
Kazakhstan is focusing on implementing economic-trade policies towards market opening and integration with the world economy. It has also deployed a multilateral and balanced foreign policy, striving to improve its position in Asia, while actively cooperating with the United Nations (UN) and international organisations and strengthening regional and global integration.
The official visit to Vietnam by Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev is taking place in the context that the Vietnam – Kazakhstan traditional friendship has developed fruitfully. In recent time, the two sides have maintained regular exchanges of delegations, including many high-level delegations of the Party, State, and National Assembly, which has enhanced mutual trust and understanding.
The two countries have closely coordinated and supported each other at multilateral forums such as the UN, the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Kazakhstan backed Vietnam's candidacy for the UN Human Rights Council for the term 2023-2025 as well as the UNESCO Executive Board and Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage for the 2022-2026 term. Meanwhile, Vietnam supported Kazakhstan in joining the Mission to the Far East of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Since Vietnam and Kazakhstan officially established diplomatic relations in 1992, the bilateral relationship has recorded many positive developments.
Bilateral economic, trade and investment cooperation is developing well. The signing of the Free Trade Agreement between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) in 2015 has opened many opportunities for the development of economic and trade relations between Vietnam and EAEU countries and Kazakhstan in particular.
Since the agreement was signed, the two-way trade has grown positively, averaging about 28% per year. Kazakhstan is Vietnam's second largest trading partner in the EAEU. In the first four months of 2023, bilateral trade reached 124.2 million USD, up 34.5% year on year.
In terms of investment, Kazakhstan has five FDI projects in Vietnam with total registered capital reaching 500,000 USD, focusing on the fields of science and technology, information and communication, wholesale and retail trade, and repair.
In addition to economy, trade and investment, Vietnam-Kazakhstan relations also recorded many good cooperation outcomes in the fields of tourism, culture, and education-training.
The two sides inked a cooperation agreement on culture and sports. Tourism is also a cooperation area with great potential. On average, the annual number of tourists from Kazakhstan to Vietnam reaches about 10,000, and is continuing to increase, especially since direct flights have been launched between the two countries. The two sides currently have seven direct flights per week.
Since September 2019, Kazakhstan has applied unilateral visa exemption for Vietnamese citizens for stays up to 30 days.
In addition, vast potential still open for bilateral cooperation in the coming time, especially in the fields of finance-banking, science-technology, and transportation.
Welcoming the Kazakh President’s official visit, Vietnam affirmed its consistent policy of attaching importance to promote relations and traditional friendship with post-Soviet states, including Kazakhstan.
This is also an opportunity for Vietnam to consistently implement a foreign policy line of independence, self-reliance, peace, friendship, cooperation, development, diversification, and multilateralisation of foreign relations while being a reliable partner and an active and responsible member of the international community.
The success of Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s official visit to Vietnam will create a strong impetus to develop the Vietnam-Kazakhstan relations more deeply and effectively, thus contributing to stability, cooperation, and development in the region as well as the world at large.