National Assembly Chairman Of Vietnam Vuong Dinh Hue To Visit Indonesia To Attend 44th AIPA, Boost Strategic Partnership – OpEd


Chairman of the National Assembly of Vietnam Vuong Dinh Hue will arrive in Jakarta on Aug. 4 to attend the General Assembly of the 44th ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA). The meeting will be held in Jakarta from August 5–11 with the theme “Responsive Parliaments for a Stable and Prosperous ASEAN”. 

During his visit from Aug. 4–7, Hue is scheduled to meet Indonesian President Joko Widodo to discuss ways on improving the bilateral friendship and strategic partnership between the two countries. On Aug. 5, he will deliver a lecture organized by a prominent Indonesian think tank, Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia (FPCI), at the Shangri-La Hotel.

Hue, who has a Ph. D degree from the University of Bratislava, Slovakia, is a Vietnamese politician and professor of economics. He is a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of Vietnam and was the former Deputy Prime Minister from 2016–2020 and Minister of Finance from 2011–2013. He used to work as a lecturer at the University of Finance and Accountancy in Hanoi.

Hue is one of the four “pillars” of collective leadership in the country, with the other three being the Secretary-General of the Communist Party of Vietnam, President, and Prime Minister of Vietnam. 

Since assuming the post of Chairman in 2021, Hue has been trying to innovate the quality and operational efficiency of the National Assembly to help Vietnam reach new heights and become the prosperous, powerful, democratic, fair, and civilized country known today. He and his institution have been making great efforts to renew work styles, significantly contributing to socioeconomic development.

The National Assembly of Vietnam (or Quoc Hoi in Vietnamese) is the highest representative body of the people. It has the power to draw up, adopt, and amend the constitution and laws. It also has the responsibility to legislate and implement state plans and budgets. It plays an essential role in institutional transformation.

Both the National Assembly of Vietnam and Indonesia’s House of Representatives (DPR) have been playing a positive role in developing their economies and countries.

Vietnam and Indonesia established their diplomatic ties on Dec. 30, 1955. In 2013, both countries elevated their friendship to a strategic partnership. Last year, the two countries completed their negotiations on the delimitation of their exclusive economic zone (EEZ) boundaries. Both countries’ legislatures will soon ratify the EEZ delimitation agreement.  

Both are important member states of ASEAN and are striving to achieve high-income country status by 2045 through a shift from resource-based industries to high-tech industries as well as increased educational cooperation and knowledge-sharing between the two countries. Last year, bilateral trade reached over US$14 billion.

With a population of 98.90 million and gross domestic product (GDP) of $430.77 billion, Vietnam is the third most populous country and fourth biggest economy in ASEAN. Meanwhile, Indonesia, with its 277.70 million population and a GDP of $1.36 trillion, is the most populous country and largest economy in ASEAN. Together, Vietnam and Indonesia constitute 60 percent of ASEAN’s total population and 45 percent of ASEAN’s total GDP.

With the theme of “ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth”, not only is Indonesia the chairman of ASEAN for 2023, but it is also the chairman of the 44th AIPA. Puan Maharani, Speaker of Indonesia’s DPR, is the Chairwoman for this event.

ASEAN has been an inseparable part of Vietnam’s external policy since its admission into the group in 1995. Together with Indonesia, both countries have made major contributions to ASEAN and are committed to fostering ASEAN’s relevance amid global challenges. Both have similar perceptions about the settlement of disputes by peaceful means in accordance with international rules, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). 

In the East Sea or South China Sea (SCS), Vietnam is the second biggest claimant state after China. Indonesia, which is not a claimant state, holds a similar view with Vietnam whereby all maritime disputes must be solved through peaceful means and according to international laws. Conversely, China claims more than 90 percent of the SCS, including some portions of Indonesia’s EEZ, based on a controversial Nine-Dashed Line Map. Other claimant states include Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, and Taiwan.

Hue’s visit to Jakarta clearly demonstrates the interest of Vietnam’s leadership in its relations with Indonesia. The visit symbolizes the spirit of solidarity and trust between the leaders of the two countries, who are willing to work towards deeper cooperation for the sake of the people as well as peace and stability within Southeast Asia. It will enhance cooperation between the legislative bodies of Vietnam and Indonesia.

Similarly, Indonesia wishes to collaborate with Vietnam, not only for mutual benefits but also for the common interests of the region. Major events like the 44th AIPA and agendas in parliamentary cooperation will promote bilateral cooperation in the fields of diplomacy, economy, culture, and people-to-people exchanges.

“The main purpose of the AIPA, politically, is to promote regional stability and ensure peace will be maintained in the future,” Putu Supadma Rudana, the deputy chair of the DPR’s Committee for Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation (BKSAP), told the Antara news agency recently.

The AIPA meeting will be attended by all ASEAN countries except Myanmar, 20 observer countries, and international organizations. Around 500 people are expected to participate in the 44th AIPA General Assembly meeting.

Veeramalla Anjaiah

Veeramalla Anjaiah is a Jakarta-based senior journalist and the author of the book “Azerbaijan Seen from Indonesia

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