|Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn and his Australian counterpart Penny Wong (left) had talks in Sydney on Monday. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Minh
SYDNEY — Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn and his Australian counterpart Penny Wong co-chaired the fourth Việt Nam-Australia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Canberra on Monday.
They affirmed their determination to strengthen the bilateral strategic partnership on the back of long-standing friendship and cooperation.
The two ministers shared the view that bilateral ties have been growing in various areas. Trade and investment have become a spotlight in bilateral ties with two-way trade hitting US$9.6 billion in seven months of this year, up nearly 40 per cent annually. Progress has been seen in various areas including, crime prevention, culture, education, tourism and labour.
They discussed ways to further deepen the strategic partnership, including holding visits at all levels and celebrations for the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties next year, bolstering bilateral economic-trade-investment ties.
Sơn suggested Australia expand the supply of official development assistance (ODA) to Việt Nam in new fields of demand, and make it easier for Việt Nam’s agro-fishery products to enter Australia, firstly passion fruit, pomelo, and fresh shrimp.
Wong promised to offer all possible support to Vietnamese firms to do business in Australia as well as step up mutually beneficial cooperation in the fields of agriculture, clean energy and ODA.
Regarding labour cooperation, they will revise the Memorandum of Understanding on the Agriculture Visa programme to suit the new situation.
On the occasion, Minister Sơn suggested Australia increase the quota for Vietnamese citizens to Australia under the Working Holiday Visa programme, as well as create conditions for the Vietnamese community in Australia to contribute to bilateral ties.
Both sides considered ways to consolidate ties in traditional fields such as national defence-security, education-training and tourism. They vowed to reinforce coordination in new fields like climate change response, digital transformation, digital economy, energy and food security, and workforce training.
On regional and global issues of shared concern, they consented to continue offering mutual support at multilateral organisations and forums, especially at ASEAN and the United Nations.
Wong affirmed that Australia treasures the comprehensive strategic partnership with ASEAN and ASEAN’s central role in the region. She pledged to boost collaboration for the sub-Mekong region’s sustainable development within the framework of the Mekong-Australia Partnership.
Both ministers also agreed to intensify cooperation at sea to maintain peace and stability in the region and the South China Sea. — VNS