Vietnam and Cambodia agree to boost cooperation in trade and Mekong River

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Manet (left) shakes hands with Vietnam's President Vo Van Thuong during a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi on Monday, December 11, 2023. - AFP

HANOI (Reuters): Vietnam and Cambodia on Monday agreed to soon double their bilateral trade to US$20 billion while increasing cooperation, including in security and the use of water from the Mekong River, the Vietnamese government said.

Trade between the two neighbouring countries rose 20% a year in the 2015-2022 period, to $10 billion last year, the government said in a statement following a meeting in Hanoi between Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and his Cambodian counterpart Hun Manet.

Hun Manet arrived in Hanoi earlier on Monday for a two-day visit, his first to Vietnam since he took office in August.

Chinh and Hun Manet at the meeting agreed to further defence and security cooperation and pledged to stick to the rule of not allowing the use of each other's territory against the other.

Vietnam and Cambodia have completed 84% of their land border demarcation and the two agreed to soon complete the remaining 16%, the statement said, adding that they would boost cooperation in the "management and sustainable use of water from the Mekong River."

(Reporting by Khanh Vu, Editing by Louise Heavens, William Maclean)

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