Viet Nam News
ĐÀ NẴNG — Việt Nam and Australia have agreed to soon upgrade their relationship to a strategic partnership on the basis of their enhanced comprehensive partnership and huge potential for cooperation.
The consensus was reached during the talks between – Việt Nam’s Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc and his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull within the framework of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in the central city of Đà Nẵng on Friday.
The PMs assigned the foreign ministries of Việt Nam and Australia to continue working on the plan so that the two countries’ leaders can sign a document on the strategic partnership as soon as possible.
They expressed their delight at the two-way trade turnover which jumped from US$32.3 million in 1990 to $5.2 billion in 2016, making Australia – Việt Nam’s seventh largest trade partner.
The leaders also commented on strides made in cooperation in national defence-security, education-training, labour, tourism and people-to-people exchange.
PM Phúc called on Australia to expand its investment and business activities in such areas as manufacturing, energy, mining, infrastructure, high-tech and food processing, while creating the best possible conditions for Vietnamese investors in the country.
He used the occasion to appeal to Australia to continue its provision of official development assistance (ODA) and scholarships to Việt Nam.
Host and guest also compared notes on regional and international issues of shared concern, and agreed to continue the close coordination between the two countries at multi-lateral forums, especially those led by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), in order to promote dialogues and cooperation, and maintain peace, stability and order in the region in line with law.
Regarding the East Sea, they stressed the importance of protecting peace, stability, security, maritime and aviation safety and freedom in the region, settling disputes by peaceful measures in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS), strictly implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and soon reaching a legally-binding Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
The same day, PM Phúc met with representatives of leading Australian businesses specialising in health care, production, manufacturing, mining, oil and gas, aviation and high-quality agricultural product processing. The Australian businesspeople are in Đà Nẵng City to attend the APEC CEO Summit 2017.
He applauded the role played by the firms in strengthening economic, trade and investment links between Việt Nam and Australia.
The Vietnamese Government creates optimal conditions for foreign businesses to operate in Việt Nam in accordance with local laws and global standards and regulations, the leader affirmed.
He said Vietnamese and Australian leaders are resolved to raise the bilateral trade value to US$10 billion in the time ahead, calling on Australian enterprises to seek more long-term investment opportunities in Việt Nam.
On the same day, President Trần Đại Quang met with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Đà Nẵng City.
Việt Nam encourages Australian businesses to invest in infrastructure, high-tech agriculture, education and training, he said, calling for more help from Australia in dealing with post-war consequences, including bomb and mine clearance and search for Vietnamese soldiers missing in action.
PM Malcolm Turnbull stressed that Australia considers Việt Nam an important partner in its foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific.
On this occasion, the PM conveyed sympathies of the Australian Government and people to Vietnamese people affected by typhoon Damrey.
The two leaders agreed to deepen the bilateral relationship in an effective and pragmatic fashion, with attention paid to national defence and security, trade, education and people-to-people exchange.
They also looked into regional and international issues of shared concern, including the East Sea issue.
The Australian side affirmed its support for the stance of Việt Nam and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on maintaining peace, stability, maritime safety and freedom in the region, and handling disputes by peaceful measures on the basis of respecting law.—VNS