Malaysian King Abdul Halim Mu’adzam arrived in Hanoi today starting his four-day Vietnam visit that is aimed at promoting bilateral cooperation, especially in such fields as economics, trade and labor.
The King’s visit, which is made at the invitation of President Truong Tan Sang, marks the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries and also demonstrates Malaysia’s appreciation of the friendship and multi-faceted cooperation with Vietnam.
Since the two countries established diplomatic ties on March 30, 1973, they have maintained exchanges of high-ranking visits and contacts. Most recently, President Truong Tan Sang paid a State-level visit to Malaysia in November, 2011 and Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan attended the Global Summit of Women in June 2013.
With its 448 projects worth US$10.2 billion being developed in Vietnam, Malaysia now ranks eighth out of countries and territories investing in Vietnam. Meanwhile, Vietnam is operating nine projects valued at US$813 million in Malaysia.
Regarding trade, Malaysia is Vietnam’s ninth largest trade partner with two-way trade reaching nearly US$7.9 billion last year and US$3.6 billion in the first five months of this year.
With respect to education, the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in education during Prime Minister Phan Van Khai’s official visit to Malaysia in 2004.
Under the MoU, Malaysia offers annual graduate and post-graduate scholarships to Vietnamese students, including those sourced by government and economic groups.
Vietnam and Malaysia have signed a labor cooperation agreement and at present, there are about 80,000 Vietnamese workers in Malaysia.
The two countries have also signed several cooperation agreements including one on visa exemption for ordinary passport holders in September 2001. They also adopted the Vietnam-Malaysia Joint Statement on Comprehensive Cooperation Framework in the 21st Century in 2004.
In 2010, Vietnam’s Government General Inspectorate and Malaysia’s Anti-Corruption Commission reached a deal on anti-corruption in 2010.
In addition, the two countries have also signed several MOUs on cooperation in the fields of banking, information and communications technology, and defense.