- Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will be in Vietnam for three days starting Monday upon the invitation of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguen Xuan Phuc.
- Dr Mahathir’s last visit to the country was in 1998 when he was also performing the capacity of a prime minister.
- Stronger collaboration on various issues and bilateral relations are tabled for Dr Mahathir’s visit.
Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will go on a three-day visit to Vietnam starting Monday to strengthen relations and bilateral trade between the two countries.
This will be the first visit of Dr Mahathir in a bid to reach the US$15 billion (RM 62.82 billion) mark in bilateral trade next year.
Dr Mahathir’s last visit to the country was back in 1998 as prime minister during the Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) conference.
Malaysian ambassador to Vietnam Shawriffah Norhana said Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc was the one who extended the invitation to Dr. Mahathir.
Last year, Malaysian exports to Vietnam amounted to a total of US$8.48 billion (RM35.51billion), while imports from Vietnam totalled US$ 4.77 billion (RM19.98billion).
Malaysia is reportedly Vietnam’s 11th biggest trade partner. Vietnam is Malaysia’s 13th biggest trade partner in the world, and fourth biggest trade partner in Asean after Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.
Dr Mahathir will be accompanied by his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, senior officials of the Prime Minister’s Office, Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) and the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA).
They are expected to arrive at about 5.20pm on Monday (6.20pm Malaysian time).
On Tuesday, Dr Mahathir will grace the official welcoming ceremony at Presidential Palace, followed by a delegation meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart where they will discuss bilateral relations and ways to promote new collaborations in trade and industry, security, education and agriculture, in addition to regional and global issues.
Shariffah Norhana said that the issue of Vietnamese fishermen encroaching into Malaysian waters will also be touched upon.
On Wednesday, Dr Mahathir will visit the Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park and will speak in front of university students on “Malaysia’s Preparation Towards Industrial Revolution 4.0,” after visiting an exhibition of Vietnamese made cars.
The prime minister and his wife will also visit the Noi Bai Industrial Zone, where he launched a ground-breaking ceremony back in 1998.