Thai Ambassador Nikorndej Balankura: Vietnam - Thailand bilateral trade to target 25 billion USD by 2025

Monday, 23/01/2023 09:30
(CPV) - During 47 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations (1976 - 2023), Vietnam - Thailand relations have developed well in all fields, and the two countries have established strategic partnership and friendly and comprehensive cooperation. On the occasion of the Lunar New Year Festival of the Cat, reporters of the Communist Party of Vietnam Online Newspaper have an interview with Thai Ambassador to Vietnam Nikorndej Balankura about the bilateral relations.


Thai Ambassador to Vietnam Nikorndej Balankura (Photo: Hoai Ha) 

Reporter: Diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Thailand were established in 1976 and the two countries have maintained and reinforced their good political relations. Over the past years, Vietnam and Thailand have held high-level delegations and meetings between the leaders of the two countries, regularly coordinating and supporting each other at international forums. Could you share more about the diplomatic relationship between the two countries at present?

Ambassador Nikorndej Balankura: The overall relations between Thailand and Vietnam are close and cordial. We both enjoy the status of the strengthened strategic partnership since 2019 and will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the establishment of our strategic partnership in 2023.

In 2022 alone, there were a number of high-level meetings and visits between the two governments, namely the visit to Vietnam of Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, Minister of Digital and Minister of Culture during SEA Games, the visit of the Minister of Finance to Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang as well as the visit of the Vice Chairman of the Parliament of Thailand. For the Vietnamese side, Thailand was honored to welcome State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan to Thailand. There were also many ministerial-level visits throughout the year such as the visits paid by Minister of MOIT, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Minister of Agriculture.

During the visit of the State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, both sides also signed the Plan of Action 2022 - 2027 which serves as a guideline for Thailand-Vietnam to strengthen the strategic partnership in the next five years. In 2023, both sides expect to co-host numbers of high-level meetings such as JCR (Joint Cabinet Retreat), JCBC (Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation), JTC (Joint Trade Committee) and PCG (Political Consultation Group). We are also expecting to witness a dynamic cooperation between the parliaments reflected by several visits of high-level representatives from Thai parliament to Vietnam this year.

Reporter: Thailand is Vietnam’s biggest trade partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), with bilateral trade turnover hitting 19.5 billion USD in 2021. Would you please share how the trade cooperation between Vietnam and Thailand has been effectively implemented in 2022?

Ambassador Nikorndej Balankura: Currently, Thailand is the 9th largest foreign investor in Vietnam. It is my conviction that if the Vietnamese government could create a more enabling environment for foreign investors, particularly in the sectors which Vietnam has great potential such as renewable and alternative energy and digital economy, our businesses will boost their investments in Vietnam, allowing Vietnam to achieve its socio-economic targets.

In 2022, the key successes were the establishment of ThaiCham, the 4th JTC meeting, 2nd Energy Forum and the Thailand - Vietnam Business Forum, which were hosted during the visits of the Vietnamese State President and Vice State President to Thailand.

Ambassador Nikorndej Balankura gives the interview to the reporter of the Communist Party of Vietnam Online Newspaper (Photo: Hoai Ha) 


Reporter: In 2023, Vietnam and Thailand will celebrate the 10th anniversary of their strategic partnership. Would you please share about the prospects for the two countries’ bilateral cooperation in all fields in the coming years?

Ambassador Nikorndej Balankura: The relations between Thailand and Vietnam are already very close and cordial, with the strengthened strategic partnership. In 2023, both governments will focus on elevating and deepening cooperation between our countries comprehensively.

In terms of political cooperation, both sides expect to co-host numbers of high-level meetings such as JCR, JCBC, JTC and PCG. We are also expecting to witness dynamic cooperation between the parliaments reflected by several visits of high-level representatives from Thai parliament Vietnam this year.

In terms of economic front, both sides aim to push forward to achieve the 25 billion USD trade target in 2025 and promote two-way investments, as well as promote the role of ThaiCham.

For cultural and people-to-people exchange aspects, the Embassy, together with EXIM Bank and Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will organize a philharmonic orchestra concert at Opera House in the first quarter of 2023 in celebration of the 10th anniversary of strategic partnership and the 1st anniversary of EXIM Bank establishment. We will also organize a series of special talks at Thai Room and the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV).

Reporter: What are your impressions of Vietnam’s people and development achievements in your term as Thai Ambassador to Vietnam?

Ambassador Nikorndej Balankura: During the time of the COVID-19 outbreak, apart from the rapid and effective management of the government, I admire the self-discipline and strong determination of the people which were the key successful factors of Vietnam in the COVID-19 pandemic control effort. Vietnam’s economic growth amidst the pandemic was also impressive and indicated the strength of the nation. The Government and the people have proactive roles in promoting international cooperation both bilaterally and multilaterally.

Reporter: As an Ambassador, what do you wish to contribute to promoting bilateral relations between the two countries in the future?

Ambassador Nikorndej Balankura: As mentioned, the overall relations are already stable and close, thus I would focus on promoting mutual prosperity and people-to-people connectivity, which are key to make the relationship between both sides sustainable and flourishing, and to create favorable conditions for people of the two countries at every level to connect and be aware of the benefit of cooperation./.

Bich Lien - Hoai Ha