Building Indonesia-Vietnam maritime partnership

Wednesday, 01/12/2021 15:38
(CPV) - On 26 November 2021, over 80 policy-makers, practitioners, experts and scholars from prestigious think tanks and universities, and businesses from Viet Nam and Indonesia discussed the recent development of the two countries' maritime cooperation and explored opportunities and potential collaboration.

The roundtable discussion on Building Indonesia-Viet Nam Maritime Partnership, held at the new building of the Diplomatic Academy of Viet Nam (DAV) as well as virtually, was co-organized by the Indonesian Embassy in Hanoi, the DAV, and the Center for Sustainable Ocean Policy – University of Indonesia.

Photo: Indonesian Embassy to Vietnam

Delivering the keynote speech in the opening session, Vice Foreign Minister of Indonesia Mahendra Siregar stressed the significance of the countries' relations as the two largest developing countries in Southeast Asia, representing 45% of the ASEAN economy.

As both Indonesia and Viet Nam strive to become strong and prosperous sea-based nations, he emphasized the importance of Indonesia and Viet Nam working together in scaling up potential maritime economic cooperation for sustainable development and addressing maritime challenges.

His Vietnamese counterpart, Vice Minister Vu Quang Minh, asserted that the strengthening of Viet Nam–Indonesia strategic partnership is a great significance to the development of each country and to the maintenance of the regional peace, stability, and prosperity. Being two dynamic economies in the region, Viet Nam and Indonesia need to make their economic cooperation a driving force in realizing the mutual goals of coping with the pandemic and restoring socio-economic development. He reaffirmed that maritime cooperation could develop into one of the key areas of the strategic partnership of Viet Nam and Indonesia. 

In the first session, the panelists and participants recalled and appreciated efforts by both Indonesia and Viet Nam in handling challenges related to the maritime domain, such as IUU fishing, environmental degradation, and climate change.

Furthermore, most of the participants highlighted the significance of concluding the EEZ delimitation of Indonesia and Viet Nam as it will open greater cooperation opportunities in the maritime domain. In addition, there was a call for Indonesia and Viet Nam to continue working together to maintain a rule-based maritime order and ensure maritime safety and security. The close institutional relationship between the Indonesian BAKAMLA and the Vietnam Coast Guard was a concrete example of this strong commitment.

The second session focused on the opportunities to boost maritime economic cooperation for sustainable development. In 2021, the bilateral trade value bounced back strongly from the pandemic impact and would reach a much higher than the pre-pandemic level. On the maritime sectors, both Indonesia and Viet Nam are blessed with abundant natural resources from the sea. Then, both countries must collaborate further in ensuring an environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable production of captured fisheries. 

In this regard, it is important for Indonesia and Viet Nam to boost productive partnership in marine and fisheries sector, including in developing policy for sustainable fishing practice, encouraging investment in seafood processing industry, and developing sustainable sea cultures/aquacultures.

The session also called for deeper cooperation in strengthening coastal resilience and protection, combating IUU fishing, building responsible marine tourism, and constructing an inclusive ecosystem for sustainable blue economy. 

In an amicable and open atmosphere, the roundtable served as a venue to gather new and innovative cooperation in enhancing maritime safety and security cooperation and maritime economic cooperation for sustainable development of Indonesia and Viet Nam. The roundtable has also served to affirm their joint commitments to promote the bilateral Strategic Partnership, especially in the maritime domain, henceforth./.

Khac Kien