Open arms: Najib and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor being welcomed by Tan Dung and his wife Tran Thanh Kiem at the presidential palace in Hanoi. — Bernama
HANOI: Malaysia welcomes Vietnam to explore investment opportunities particularly in the banking and finance; tourism, education and oil and gas sectors, said the Prime Minister,
Citing an example, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said both Petronas and Petro Vietnam could carry out joint development in the oil and gas sector,
“We would also like to strengthen cooperation in the areas of defence and security,” he said after a bilateral meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Tan Dung yesterday.
Najib said both countries enjoyed good relations over the years with bilateral trade amounting to more than US$9bil (RM29.5bil).
“During our meeting just now, we had set a target to further increase our total trade to US$11bil (RM36.0bil) by 2015,” he said.
For Malaysia, Vietnam is its 13th largest trading partner and 10th largest source of import. For Vietnam, Malaysia is its seventh largest trading partner and eighth largest source of import.
Najib also described his bilateral meeting with his counterpart as frank and comprehensive where they spoke about the need to up ties to a strategic level.
“I would also like to personally congratulate Prime Minister Tan Dung for his exemplary leadership in steering his country to economic prosperity and making it one of the top economies in the region,” he said.
Both leaders also touched on the impending Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, which they agreed must give a level playing field to emerging economies and developing nations.
Najib was earlier given an official welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace where he also inspected a guard-of-honour.
His visit there, at the invitation of Tan Dung, is to strengthen bilateral and trade relations with Vietnam.
Accompanying him were Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed and Agriculture and Agro based Industries Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
After a luncheon hosted by Tan Dung, Najib visited the RM9.8bil Gamuda City project – a new township project undertaken by Malaysian public-listed Gamuda Berhad.
Najib also made courtesy calls on President Truong Tan Sang at the presidential palace and met Communist Party of Vietnam general secretary Nguyen Phu Trong later.
He ended the second day of his visit with dinner with Malaysians living and working in Hanoi.