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Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his Vietnam counterpart Nguyen Tan Dung sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between both governments on the employment of workers. Pix by Mohd Fadli Hamzah

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia and Vietnam have agreed to boost their bilateral trade and aim to secure at least USD15 billion worth of trade by 2020, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

He said the bilateral trade between both countries was expected to reach USD10 billion this year.

"Malaysia is currently the eighth largest investor in Vietnam and our businessmen and corporation are very keen to look into new opportunities to increase investment in Vietnam.

"Almost 50 per cent of that investment comes from Petronas in Vietnam, and today, Petronas and PetroVietnam signed an agreement to extend their exploration activities in Vietnam.

"We have also agreed to look into possibility of having tripartite joint venture with respect to the overlapping areas between both countries and Thailand to explore and develop oil and gas resources." he said in a joint press conference with his Vietnam counterpart Nguyen Tan Dung at Perdana Putra, today

He said the cooperation should also extend with respect to rubber so that Malaysia can work closely together between major producers in region of Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand to ensure that all will get fair return as rubber as commodity.

Both countries have also agreed to work closely in defence and security matters particularly to combat human trafficking and intrusion into the country's waters.

Najib also thanked Vietnamese government intervention in apprehending those involved in hijacking the MT Orkim Harmony.

Earlier, Najib and Nguyen signed the joint statement on framework for strategic partnership between Malaysian and Vietnamese governments.

They also inked the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between both governments on the employment of workers.

Najib later witnessed the MoU signing ceremony between Petronas and PetroVietnam for the exploration and exploitation of petroleum, followed by the presentation of full banking license to CIMB from Central Bank of Vietnam.

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