Reporter: Can you share with us how the multiaspect cooperation relations between Vietnam and Indonesia has been implemented in 2018?

Mr. Ibnu Hadi: In 2018, the two governments of Indonesia and Vietnam have witnessed many events which are important bases to promote the bilateral multi-aspect cooperation in politics, economics, education and social-culture.

Indonesia and Vietnam implemented the 3rd Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) meeting on April 17th 2018 and agreed sign the Indonesia – Vietnam Strategic Partnership Action Plan 2019-2023, under the witness of two Presidents on the occasion of the official visit of President Joko Widodo to Hanoi Vietnam on September 11th - 12th 2018.

In terms of economics, the bilateral trade and investment cooperation of both countries have shown positive growth. In 2018, the total trade between Indonesia and Viet Nam has reached USD8.6 billion, increased nearly 30% from last year. With this speed of bilateral trade growth, I am quite optimistic that we can achieve the target of USD10 billion of the bilateral trade volume by 2020.

In terms of investment, Indonesia's investment in Vietnam in the first eleven months of 2018 (January - November 2018) reached US $ 122.32 million. Thus, until the end of November 2018, Indonesian investment in Vietnam has reached 74 projects with a value of US $ 585.09 million, or ranked 28th, increasing two levels in the list of country investors in Vietnam. Indonesia's investment in Vietnam includes joint ventures, 100% foreign invested capital and business cooperation contract (BCC).

The business fields of the Indonesian investment are quite diverse including processing industry; accommodation, food and beverage; health and social support; coal mining; cement, transportation and warehouse; wholesale, retail, repair; agriculture, forestry and fisheries; arts and entertainment; construction; administration and support services; information and communication.

In politics, Indonesia and Vietnam signed the Joint-Vision Statement on Security. Both countries also agreed to accept the principle of non-single line which differentiate between the Continental Shelf Line from the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) line in 2018 and Indonesia is looking forward to cooperate with Vietnam in accelerating the completion of negotiation on the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

In education, we are also very successful to open the first Indonesian course for Vietnamese in Hanoi with the support from the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture. We cooperated with Hanoi University to open the class for their students besides the class in our Embassy and will continue to expand this year. Through studying Indonesian language, it will help to increase the mutual understanding between two countries.


The Indonesian Ambassador to Vietnam H.E. Mr. Ibnu Hadi. (Photo: CPV)

Reporter: In your opinion, which motivations have been made to promote the bilateral relations between the two countries after the working visit of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to Indonesia in October 2018 and the official visit of the Indonesian President Joko Widodo to Vietnam in September 2018?

Mr. Ibnu Hadi: 2018 is also a special for Indonesia and Vietnam bilateral relations.  The President of the Republic of Indonesia H.E. Mr. Joko Widodo paid a state visit to Hanoi from September 11th - 12th 2018 and attended the World Economic Forum (WEF) on ASEAN. This visit coincided with the 5th year anniversary of Indonesia – Vietnam strategic partnership since it was established in 2013.

The bilateral relations between two countries continuously strengthened when one month after the Indonesian President’s visit, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to Indonesia paid a working in October 2018. Multi-aspect cooperation is always emphasized during visits through the joint statements between Indonesia and Vietnam but the first concern was to consolidate the bilateral trade cooperation to achieve the target of USD10 billion trade turnover. It is also the priority of both countries as the strategic partnership. Moreover, investment was encouraged and facilitated. As you may know, there are 8 new investment projects from Indonesia to Vietnam in 2018, which increases the total investment projects from Indonesia to Vietnam to 74 projects with the total capital of USD585.09 million.

During their visits, beside the official agenda, the two leaders also paid attention to witness the economic cooperation. President Joko Widodo attending the launching of Go Viet in Hanoi, the expansion of the famous application from Indonesia – Go Jek and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc witnessed the signing cooperation ceremony between Nikko Securities in Indonesia and Licogi 16 Company to build up infrastructure facilities in Indonesia and Vietnam. In addition, Traveloka, an online service in air-ticketing and hotel reservation, has been expanding progressively since its establishment in 2015.

Reporter: After a nearly 3-year term as the Indonesian Ambassador to Vietnam, what is your impression about Vietnamese people and the development achievements?

Mr. Ibnu Hadi: I have been in Hanoi for 3 years and I can see that Vietnam has developed rapidly over 3 years.

Over the 3 years, Vietnam has achieved the significant GDP growth with 7.08% while in 2016 it was 6.21%. I also observe that the Government has improved many policies to encourage the development of the private sector and attract investors. With the favor policies for local corporations, such Vietnamese groups as Vingroup, FLC, Sungroup, FPT, etc. have good conditions to develop and as you can see Vietnam now has your own car brand to compete with other industries. It still needs more time to evaluate the effectiveness of policies, but I consider it as a big achievement for Vietnam. Besides, the toll roads have been built up to connect provinces, which supports to attract investors.

I also see that the living standard in Vietnam has been improved much. There are more and more cars not only in the city but also in provinces. To some extends, it also creates the pressure for traffic and the needs to improve the infrastructures for big cities.

Reporter: As the Ambassador, what do you want to contribute to the relations between the two countries in the future?

Mr. Ibnu Hadi: In 2019, I will continue to implement more trade promotion activities, focusing on the potential products of two countries. This year, with the support from the Ministry of Trade to assign one Trade Attaché to Vietnam, I fully hope that we will cooperate closely with related Vietnamese agencies to boost the bilateral trade.

We will have one more direct flight between Vietnam and Indonesia, particularly between Ho Chi Minh City and Bali, and later Ho Chi Minh – Jakarta. Ultimately, there will be a direct flight between Hanoi and Jakarta sooner rather than later.

Reporter: On the occasion of the Spring in the Year of Pig 2019, what is your message to the readers of the Communist Party of Vietnam Online Newspaper?

Mr. Ibnu Hadi: Because pigs are considered to be the happiest animal of the 12 animals, almost just eat and sleep, do not bother anything, and become the symbol of happiness and full life, so I wish that you can enjoy 2019 with the prosperity and full of cheerfulness.

Reporter: Thank you very much!

Khac Kien