Kazakhstan and Vietnam have taken substantial strides toward entering a new phase of bilateral cooperation development.
During a three-day visit to the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev engaged in discussions with his Vietnamese counterpart, Vo Van Thuong. Their meetings culminated in the signing of 12 agreements aimed at bolstering relations and collaboration across various sectors.
Among these agreements was a bilateral visa exemption arrangement. As part of this arrangement, citizens from both nations can now benefit from visa-free travel for a period of up to 30 days upon crossing borders. This privilege extends to a maximum of 90 days within every 180 days. The agreement holds indefinite validity and is set to take effect 30 calendar days after the receipt of final written notifications from both parties, confirming the completion of the national procedures required for its ratification.
President Tokayev, in his address on Monday, emphasized the pivotal role of the intergovernmental joint action plan. This strategic blueprint, covering the period from 2023 to 2025, is designed to expedite trade and economic collaboration between the two nations. The recently ratified plan encompasses a range of fields, including trade, investment, technology, agriculture, transit, and tourism, with the aim of significantly enhancing cooperation.
The bilateral trade between Kazakhstan and its Southeast Asian partner has surged, with trade volume tripling to reach $610.9 million in the first half of 2023. President Tokayev expressed his commitment to further elevating this figure to a substantial one billion dollars by year-end.
In response, President Thuong underscored Vietnam’s strong attachment to its long-standing amicable relations with Kazakhstan.
“I am sure that your first official visit to our country will create a new impetus to intensify traditionally friendly relations and successful multifaceted cooperation between the two countries … Vietnam attaches great importance to traditionally friendly relations with Kazakhstan and considers your country an important partner in Central Asia,” Anadolu Ajansi quoted Thuong as saying.
During his visit, President Tokayev also met with Nguyen Thanh Hung, the Chairman of Sovico Group, a versatile Vietnamese conglomerate excelling in energy, construction, banking, finance, and aviation. The discussions encompassed plans for establishing a trade and logistics hub in Kazakhstan, coupled with expanding the operations of the Vietnamese low-cost carrier, VietJet Air. President Tokayev assured governmental support for the investment projects proposed by Sovico Group.
Opportunities for cooperation have surfaced in the energy and logistics sectors as well, with President Tokayev expressing Kazakhstan’s enthusiasm for engaging in joint investment ventures. Conversations were held between President Tokayev and Petrovietnam, a significant player in Southeast Asia’s oil and gas sector with assets valued at $40 billion. The President put forward the idea of extending tax and customs incentives to potential investors involved in oil and gas processing and geological exploration projects.
President Tokayev’s visit and the agreements forged during his trip underscore the growing relationship between Kazakhstan and Vietnam. Both nations stand poised to capitalize fully on the benefits of their multifaceted collaboration, which is anticipated to drive economic growth, technological advancement, and cross-cultural interaction in the years ahead.