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Top Vietnamese, Cambodian legislators hold talks

National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue held talks with President of the Cambodian National Assembly Samdech Heng Samrin in Hanoi on September 12 following the welcome ceremony the same day.

The two leaders noted with pleasure satisfactory results of bilateral economic cooperation despite COVID-19 pandemic, saying that two-way trade hit 9.5 billion USD last year, up 79% year-on-year. Vietnam invested in 188 projects worth 2.8 billion USD in Cambodia, becoming the biggest ASEAN investor and the fifth largest in Cambodia.

They agreed to maintain the exchange of all-level visits to increase mutual trust, effectively implement signed protocols and national defence-security cooperation plans. Both sides will focus on completing the border demarcation and marker planting, which has so far 84% completed.

Hue suggested both sides soon complete the drafting of Master Plan for linking Vietnamese and Cambodian economies till 2030, sign a border trade agreement, effectively carry out the Memorandum of Understanding on border trade infrastructure connectivity and development, the Agreement on Investment Encouragement and Protection, and the Agreement on Double Taxation Avoidance.

Heng Samrin proposed the Vietnamese legislature offer personnel training to its Cambodian counterpart, share experience in information and agriculture technology to turn the Mekong River into a food security area of the region and the world, and contribute to humanitarian activities.

Hue affirmed that the Vietnamese NA will help Cambodia successfully hold the 43rd General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA-43) in November.

The Vietnamese NA Office is ready to continue offering intensive training to officers of the Secretariat of the Cambodian NA, including in information technology and interpretation, he stressed.

He also suggested Cambodia continue assisting in the search and repatriation of remains of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and experts in the country. 

Agreeing with his Cambodian counterpart, the top Vietnamese legislator suggested the two countries and legislative bodies create more favourable conditions for their enterprises to invest and do business stably in respective country.

Hue said that education is a strategic cooperation area for the development of each country and contributes to the strong solidarity between the two nations.

He suggested the Cambodian side give priority to providing scholarships in fields that Vietnam has strengths such as agriculture - forestry, fisheries, medicine, pharmaceuticals and information technology.

He thanked the Cambodian side for successfully rescuing many Vietnamese citizens who have been scammed to work illegally in Cambodia recently, expressing his hope that the Cambodian NA will continue to provide support for Cambodians of Vietnamese origin in the country. 

In response, Samdech Heng Samrin said that Cambodia protects legitimate rights and interests of people of Vietnamese origin as well as Vietnamese enterprises investing and doing business legally in the country.

Regarding cooperation at multilateral forums, Hue affirmed that Vietnam supports Cambodia as the chair of ASEAN and the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) in 2022, expressing his belief that  the ASEAN Summits and the 43rd AIPA General Assembly (AIPA-43) in Phnom Penh in November 2022 will be successful, contributing to building the ASEAN Community and strengthening Cambodia's international position.

He suggested the two sides strengthen exchanges and consultations on strategic issues related to security and development of the region as well as of each country; make efforts to maintain solidarity and unity in ASEAN and affirm its central role in regional security issues; and uphold ASEAN's principled stance on East Sea-related issues. 

NA Chairman Hue proposed the two sides sign additional cooperation agreements between their legislative bodies in order to suit the current situation, underlining the need to maintain high-level meetings and contacts between young legislators to enhance exchange of information and experience in law-making, supreme supervision and making decisions on important national issues of each country. 

The two sides should further promote the role of their legislatures in promoting bilateral relations; and urging ministries, sectors, localities and businesses to effectively implement signed treaties and agreements, Hue stressed. 

They will coordinate to help Laos successfully organise a conference between the NAs of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam in 2023; and continue enhancing coordination mechanisms at multilateral forums such as AIPA,  the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) General Assembly, the the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) and other multilateral parliamentary organizations; and support each other's stance on regional and international issues of common concern. 

NA Chairman Hue agreed to promote cooperation between the Secretariat of the Cambodian NA and the Vietnamese NA’s Office , especially in the fields of personnel training and information technology, affirming that the Vietnamese NA’s Office is ready to provide advanced and specialised training in information technology and interpretation in Vietnam for staff of the Cambodian agency.

Later the same day, the Vietnamese NA Chairman hosted a banquet for his Cambodian counterpart and entourage./.