Najib Meets Vietnamese President Tran

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Pic: theSunPic: theSun

DA NANG, Vietnam: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak today held his first bilateral meeting with Vietnamese President, Tran Dai Quang, since the latter took office in April last year.

The meeting, which lasted about 30 minutes, took place here on the sidelines of the 25th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Economic Leaders Meeting (AELM).

Najib congratulated Tran for hosting the AELM and praised the development of this coastal city.

Among other things, the meeting touched on trade between both countries as Malaysia and Vietnam had previously agreed to elevate bilateral relations to the level of Strategic Partnership.

Over the last 10 years, bilateral trade has increased more than threefold to US$10.3 billion (RM43.2 billion) in 2016 from US$3.2 billion in 2006. In 2016, Vietnam was Malaysia's 12th largest trading partner.

Meanwhile, International Trade and Industry Minister, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, in an earlier press conference, said Vietnam was one of the fastest developing countries and recipients biggest foreign direct investment in Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean).

"The biggest investment from Malaysian companies in Vietnam is Gamuda Land Sdn Bhd in township development in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. They have been operating for nine years in Vietnam.

"In Da Nang, one of the fastest-growing cities in Vietnam, there are several Malaysian companies operating here including Tan Chong and candle producers from Sungai Petani," he said.

Malaysia and Vietnam, under the Framework of Asean Trade in Goods Agreement, are committed to achieving deeper economic linkages among members, which included increasing trade, lowering business costs, creating a larger market with greater opportunities and larger economies of scale for the businesses of member countries.

The two countries had also agreed to expand cooperation on defence and security to include counter-terrorism, anti-piracy and transnational crime in July.

— Bernama