Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, accompanied by relevant Cabinet members, will visit Vietnam for the second Thailand-Vietnam Joint Cabinet Retreat, scheduled for 26-27 October 2012 in Hanoi.
During Prime Minister Yingluck’s visit to Vietnam on 30 November 2011, both countries agreed to assign relevant agencies to convene the second joint cabinet meeting soon.
Thailand initiated the first Thailand-Vietnam Joint Cabinet Retreat, which took place in Danang, Vietnam, and Nakhon Phanom, Thailand, on 20-21 February 2004. At that time, the Thai-Vietnamese Friendship Village was opened in Ban Na Chok, Mueang district of Nakhon Phanom province.
In the upcoming Joint Cabinet Retreat, Prime Minister Yingluck and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung will deliver speeches marking the opening of the meeting. Then the two Prime Ministers will hold talks on bilateral issues, while Cabinet members of the two countries will be divided into three groups to discuss political-security, economic, and socio-cultural and education issues.
Prime Minister Yingluck and her Vietnamese counterpart will exchange views on the possibility of upgrading Thai-Vietnamese relations into strategic partnerships. They will also discuss transportation links in the region and issues that need cooperation in ASEAN-China relations. Thailand currently serves as the country coordinator of ASEAN-China relations.
Discussions in the political-security session will cover increased cooperation in tackling problems concerning transnational crime, drugs, human trafficking, and illegal fishing in Thai territorial waters by Vietnamese fishing boats. Thailand will also raise for discussion its preparations for holding a forum on sustainable water resource management.
Apart from the issues of Route R9 (East-West Economic Corridor), Route R8, and Route R12, the economic session will discuss efforts to achieve an increase of bilateral trade by 20 percent between 2012 and 2015. It will also discuss cooperation in rice exports between five ASEAN countries, namely Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Thailand. At present, Vietnam is Thailand’s fourth largest trading partner in ASEAN.
In the socio-cultural and education session, both sides will touch on the issues of labor cooperation, cultural exchange, the establishment of two more Thai study centers in Vietnam, and the teaching of the Vietnamese language in Thailand.
On this occasion, the Thai and Vietnamese Prime Ministers will witness the signing of three important documents, namely the Joint Statement between the Thai and Vietnamese Foreign Ministers, the Thailand-Vietnam Security Outlook, and the memorandum of understanding on the establishment of the Thai-Vietnamese Business Council.
Relations between Thailand and Vietnam have expanded in several dimensions and these cordial ties have benefited not only the two countries but also the ASEAN region as a whole.