Cambodia and Vietnam have agreed to enhance and broaden cooperation across various fields, aiming to benefit both nations, particularly in areas including politics, trade, tourism, health, education, national defence and security.

The agreement was reached during Prime Minister Hun Manet’s official two-day visit to Vietnam from December 11-12, upon the invitation of his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Minh Chinh.

“The visit has led to new achievements in the fruitful cooperation between Cambodia and Vietnam, with significant results in politics, diplomacy, economics, investment and trade,” stated a December 12 press release regarding the visit.

Manet and Chinh discussed the potential for further strengthening the relationship between the two neighbours. 

Chinh expressed confidence that under Manet’s leadership, Cambodia would progress towards becoming an upper-middle-income country by 2030 and high-income by 2050. 

Manet thanked Chinh for the warm welcome and reaffirmed Cambodia’s foreign policy, focused on sustainable and consistent relationships. 

He emphasised the importance of building friendships and strengthening cooperative ties at all levels, including in the legislature and the executive, to benefit both nations.

The two prime ministers exchanged views on the political, social and economic situations of their respective countries and reviewed the outcomes of past bilateral cooperation.

Jean-Francois Tan, a geopolitical expert and attache for Manet, stated in a press release on the evening of December 12 following the premier’s return that the two nations have been close friends with a 56-year relationship. 

He said they have agreed to continue strengthening cooperation, particularly in economic matters.

“In the realm of politics, Manet emphasised the consistency of Cambodia’s foreign policy towards Vietnam, aiming to maintain the traditional friendship, solidarity and comprehensive, long-term cooperation between the two,” he stated.

“Regardless of the nature of the visit, [Manet’s] primary goal is to seek economic benefits to bolster Cambodia’s economy towards continued prosperity,” he added.

Yang Peou, secretary-general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, noted the significance of the visit, highlighting that as neighbouring countries with a shared border, comprehensive cooperation in all areas is crucial for the benefit of both.

“Given that the two countries are neighbours, any issues between them could lead to national insecurity, impede social development and create political problems,” he said.

“The two nations share not only a border but also a historical friendship, having supported each other in the past. Therefore, bilateral cooperation in all aspects is vital,” he added.

However, he believes that there are unresolved and imbalanced issues that the public is aware of and expects to be appropriately addressed.

“People have noted concerns such as illegal Vietnamese immigration into Cambodia, the establishment of checkpoints by Vietnam along the border during the Covid-19 pandemic and other bilateral issues. It’s crucial that these matters are resolved without breaching international treaties or the trust in their cooperation,” he said.