Trade, security, sci-tech bright spots in 50 years of Việt Nam-Australia relations: leaders

April 04, 2023 - 16:09
President Võ Văn Thưởng hosted an official welcome ceremony in Hà Nội for the Australian Governor-General David Hurley.


President Võ Văn Thưởng hosts an official welcome ceremony in Hà Nội for Australian Governor-General David Hurley. — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — President Võ Văn Thưởng on Tuesday proposed Việt Nam and Australia step up two-way trade and investment cooperation in practical ways during his meeting with Australian Governor-General David Hurley.

Thưởng hosted an official welcome ceremony in Hà Nội for the Australian guest in the morning.

Hurley is the first foreign leader to pay a State visit to Việt Nam this year, and also the first international guest President Thưởng has received in his new position.

The visit is part of activities in celebration of the 50th founding anniversary of Việt Nam-Australia diplomatic relations.

Warmly welcoming the guest and speaking highly of the visit’s importance, Thưởng expressed his belief that the visit would create a new impetus for the strategic partnership between the two countries.

Australian Governor-General David Hurley praised Việt Nam's important achievements in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, recovering and developing the economy, and ensuring the people’s interests of the people.

He believed that this would bring benefits to Việt Nam and contribute to the relations between the two countries and the region.

He expressed confidence that Việt Nam would achieve its goal of becoming a developing country with modern industry, high middle income by 2030 and a developed country with high income by 2045, and increasingly asserting its role as a developing country regionally and internationally.

The two leaders expressed their satisfaction at the substantive and effective development of the Việt Nam-Australia’s strategic partnership after 50 years of establishing diplomatic relations.


Vietnamese President Võ Văn Thưởng (second from right) and Australian Governor-General David Hurley (second from left) along with their wives. — VNA/VNS Photo 

A lot of cooperation sectors mentioned in the Action Programme for the 2020-23 period have become pillars or bright spots in the two countries' relations, such as security-defence, economy-trade, science and technology, education-training, and people-to-people exchanges.

Given that the two countries still have a lot of room and potential for cooperation, the two leaders discussed extensively major directions to strengthen Việt Nam-Australia relations in various fields.

They agreed to discuss upgrading the relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership at an appropriate time.

They believe the two sides need to maintain trust and foster friendship, mutual understanding and respect for each other through increasing delegation exchanges at the central and local levels.

They agreed to promote friendship exchanges, especially the role of friendship associations and friendship parliamentary groups, youth associations, students, and women.

The two countries will jointly organise meaningful activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations in both countries to increase public awareness about the friendship and cooperation between Việt Nam and Australia.

President Thưởng proposed that, based on the Australia-Việt Nam Enhanced Economic Engagement Strategy (EEES), the two countries consider creating favourable conditions for strong export products and adopt policies to encourage enterprises of the two countries to invest in each other.

Thưởng spoke highly of peacekeeping cooperation which is a bright spot in the bilateral partnership. He suggested Australia continue to closely cooperate in preventing and combating transnational crime, immigration management, and illegal migration; control and handle terrorist individuals and organisations that may use Australian territory to conduct hostile activities against Việt Nam.

The Governor General of Australia agreed that the two sides should pay more attention to cultural activities, sports and people-to-people exchanges. Accordingly, the two sides will soon complete the procedures to implement the Memorandum of Understanding on the Australian Agricultural Visa Programme so Vietnamese citizens can work in Australia in the agricultural sector.

Discussing regional and international issues, the two leaders vowed to continue to strengthen consultation and close coordination at regional and international forums, especially the United Nations, ASEAN and ASEAN-led mechanisms.

They reaffirmed the importance of peace, stability, safety, security and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea (known in Việt Nam as the East Sea) and agreed to cooperate with other countries to build a stable and prosperous region, respect national sovereignty and ensure the rule of law. 

Meeting with PM Chính

Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính (left) and Australian Governor-General David Hurley  as they met for talks on Tuesday in Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang

During talks with Australian Governor-General David Hurley the same day, Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính spoke highly of the Việt Nam-Australia strategic partnership with bright spots in economic and trade cooperation.

The two-way trade turnover in 2022 reached nearly US$15.7 billion, an increase of nearly 27 per cent compared to 2021, making Australia the seventh largest trading partner of Việt Nam and Việt Nam the 10th largest trading partner of Australia, he said.

The Prime Minister proposed Australia create more favourable conditions for Vietnamese agricultural and fishery products to access the Australian market to balance bilateral trade.

He said Việt Nam would welcome big Australian businesses and investment funds to invest in fields such as renewable energy, infrastructure, telecommunications, finance-banking, education, hi-tech agriculture, digital transformation, mining, aviation and tourism.

He also requested Australia create favourable conditions for Vietnamese enterprises to invest in mining, agriculture, aviation and tourism.

Regarding security and defence cooperation, Chính asked Australia to continue supporting Việt Nam in capacity building and English training as well as strengthen cooperation in preventing and combating transnational crimes, counter-terrorism, hi-tech economic, drug and cyber security crimes.

The Australian Governor-General emphasised that the two countries were highly complementary economies. Australia was in the process of expanding and diversifying trading partners, of which regional countries would be the priority.

He highlighted giving priority to tourism cooperation as the two countries resumed direct flights with a frequency of 17 flights per week.

The two leaders highly appreciated that the two countries had closely coordinated and supported each other at regional and international forums, especially at the United Nations, APEC and ASEAN.

They showed pleasure about the development in Australia - ASEAN relations with the relationship’s upgrade to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in October 2021 as well as the plan to organise a special summit to celebrate the 50th anniversary of ASEAN - Australia relations in 2024. — VNS