On August 26th, 2021, the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV) and the Thai Embassy to Hanoi and the Vietnamese Embassy to Bangkok organized a virtual conference to celebrate the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Thailand (06/8/1976-06/8/2021).
The conference enjoyed the attendance of ambassadors, former ambassadors, representatives of scholars, entrepreneurs and people who contributed to the bilateral ties between the two countries. The conference was livestreamed via Facebook to promote Vietnam - Thailand relations to the public.
Addressing the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to Thailand Phan Chi Thanh reiterated that the 45th anniversary is an important milestone for both countries to look back on the achievements of the relations and sketch out future cooperation. Thai Ambassador to Vietnam Nikorndej Balankura agreed with his Vietnamese counterpart, underlining that the sharing from the keynote speakers will help both sides consolidate and strengthen the partnership in the future.
In his speech, Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung affirmed that the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties 45 years ago opened up a new era of development in the friendship and multifaceted cooperation between the two countries, especially in politics-diplomacy, trade-investment, tourism, society-culture. Both sides have coordinated closely in multilateral forums, together contributing to enhancing the intra-solidarity and the central role of ASEAN. Most recently, the Vietnam - Thailand friendship was further affirmed thanks to concerted efforts in the fight against Covid-19, including access to vaccines, and the post-pandemic socio-economic recovery. Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Thailand Thani Thongphakdi underlined the unprecedentedly close connection between the two countries, illustrated by regular dialogues and visits at all levels, especially among senior leaders. He expressed the belief that with strong determination and joint efforts, Vietnam and Thailand will complete the target of $25 billion in two-way trade in 2025. He proposed the building of bilateral partnership on three key pillars namely sustainable development, sustainable peace, and sustainable future.
During the first session, the achievements were reviewed in terms of the friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and Thailand for the past 45 years on diverse fields such as politics, economy, education, culture, and people-to-people exchange. In terms of politics, the Vietnam - Thailand diplomatic ties were established for a long time and has always been maintained and developed throughout historical periods, thanks to the people-to-people exchange for centuries. The delegates appraised the role of bilateral cooperation mechanisms, especially the Vietnam-Thailand Joint Cabinet meeting chaired by the prime ministers of the two countries since 2004. The establishment of bilateral strategic partnership in 2013, and the upgrade to a strengthened strategic partnership in 2015 created a firm foundation for the long-lasting development of the relationship between the two nations. On multilateral levels, Vietnam and Thailand proved effective cooperation in many regional and international mechanisms such as ASEAN, GMS, ACMECS, APEC, ASEM, and the United Nations. Economically, Thailand is among 10 top foreign investors in Vietnam, and also Vietnam’s biggest trade partner in ASEAN. Both sides place emphasis on active culture-education cooperation and profound people-to-people exchange. Thai Vietnamese people in Thailand play a considerable role in consolidating the bilateral relationship. Teaching Thai language has become an important mission for a number of universities in Vietnam, which reinforces the close friendship.
In the second session, the delegates focused on discussing recommendations to further the strategic partnership between Vietnam and Thailand in the coming time. The majority of opinions concurred that there is still room for cooperation between the two countries. In order to materialize these potentials, the two nations should enhance exchanges of all levels, share experience, and provide support in the exchange of knowledge, technology, together with stronger cooperation on fields in which each country currently has competitive advantages. Besides, the two sides can look to more cooperation opportunities in line with Industry 4.0, such as in tech startups, digital transformation, digital economy, innovation, re-establishment of supply chains, research in vaccines for Covid-19, green and sustainable development. Both sides can also encourage more participation of the private sectors in the mentioned areas. Close collaboration to promote mutual initiatives in mechanisms such as ACMECS, GMS will help both countries realize benefits and contribute to the sustainable development of the Mekong Sub-region and Southeast Asia in general. Regarding the East Sea, the two sides need to coordinate to form management and dispute resolution mechanisms by peaceful measures and on the basis of respect for international law. The Vietnam - Thailand cooperation will continue to effectively contribute to promoting the central role of ASEAN and solidarity between ASEAN member states, as well as regional peace, stability, and prosperity.
The recommendations for policy voiced at the conference paved the way for ideas and initiatives for practical cooperation activities between the two countries in the future./.