Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — President Trần Đại Quang and Governor-General of Australia Peter Cosgrove have agreed to strengthen political and strategic trust between the two countries by enhancing the exchange of visits and meetings.
They reached the consensus at their talks in Hà Nội on Thursday, which were held immediately after the official welcome ceremony for the Australian guest, who started his State visit to Việt Nam, the first official one as Governor-General of Australia, on Wednesday.
President Quang highlighted the significance of the Governor-General’s visit, expressing his belief that it will contribute greatly to promoting the Việt Nam-Australia strategic partnership.
The Australian leader affirmed Australia always attaches importance to the friendship with Việt Nam and hopes to further deepen the newly-established strategic partnership.
Both sides expressed their joy at the strong and effective development of Việt Nam-Australian relations in recent times, saying that the regular exchange of high-ranking delegations at all levels reflects the two sides’ respect for the reinforcement of their political trust and mutual understanding.
They assessed that the two countries have reaped encouraging outcomes from their economic ties.
The countries’ two-way trade value hit nearly US$6.5 billion in 2017. Australia has poured $1.8 billion into 400 projects in Việt Nam, ranking 19th out of 129 countries and territories investing in the country.
They agreed to continue organising activities to celebrate the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties, thus raising public awareness of the bilateral relations.
The leaders stressed the need to improve the efficiency of existing bilateral co-operation mechanisms, and promote newly-formed co-operation mechanisms such as economic partnership, innovation partnership, agriculture partnership, and the meeting of foreign ministers.
The two sides should make more efforts to push pillar co-operation fields such as security-defence; economy-trade; science-technology; education-training; and development aid, towards expanding their collaboration in other potential domains, they said.
President Quang suggested the two sides seriously take into account trade barriers, which can affect their key exports; and devise policies encouraging Vietnamese and Australian enterprises to increase investment in the fields of Australia’s strength and Việt Nam’s demand, including energy, infrastructure, telecommunications, finance-banking, mining, manufacturing, hi-tech agriculture, education and tourism.
The Governor-General affirmed Australia will continue to promote security-defence links with Việt Nam, focusing on training and joining the UN peacekeeping force, adding that his country will also actively support Việt Nam in solving the problem of post-war UXO.
The country will also provide Việt Nam with information related to missing Vietnamese officers in the spirit of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two sides in 2015, he added.
President Quang thanked the Australian side for continuing to give Việt Nam a priority in its official development assistance (ODA) provision, affirming that Australia-funded development projects have been implemented effectively in Việt Nam.
After the construction of Mỹ Thuận Bridge, Cao Lãnh Bridge built with Australian funding in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta region will be put into use on Sunday, marking itself as a vivid symbol of Việt Nam and Australia’s friendship, he stressed.
During their talks, the two leaders also affirmed mutual support at regional and international forums, especially the UN, ASEAN and co-operation mechanisms led by ASEAN; as well as a consistent stance in East Sea-related issues; and close co-operation in implementing the freshly-signed Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
The Australian leader invited President Quang to visit Australia in at a convenient time.
Meeting with other top leaders
At a meeting with Secretary General of the Communist Party of Việt Nam Central Committee Nguyễn Phú Trọng, Cosgrove said that the Government of Australia hopes to boost pragmatic cooperation with Việt Nam in all fields, especially economy, trade, and education-training.
Trọng said that Việt Nam always backs the role of Australia in the Asian-Pacific region and hopes the two countries will strengthen coordination in regional and international issues.
The same day, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc had a meeting with Governor-General Peter Cosgrove.
As part of the efforts to deepen the sound bilateral co-operation, the Government leader suggested both sides work to complete the Việt Nam-Australia Plan of Action 2016-19 and accelerate the realisation of contents agreed in the joint statement on the establishment of the Việt Nam-Australia Strategic Partnership.
New mechanisms and frameworks should be set up to enhance partnerships in the fields of economy, agriculture and innovation, he said, noting that measures to increase two-way trade and investment should be stepped up, including the reduction and elimination of trade barriers and facilitation of activities of both nations’ businesses.
Peter Cosgrove agreed with PM Phúc on measures to boost bilateral relations, recommending that both sides need to fully tap their strengths to enhance collaboration in education-training, labour, culture, sports and tourism, and further people-to-people exchange, thus strengthening their friendship and mutual understanding.
National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân told Cosgrove during a meeting in Hà Nội on Thursday that the Vietnamese National Assembly supports strengthening its strategic partnership with Australia, creating a new important framework to push forward their deeper and more practical ties.
Ngân expressed her delight at the growing ties between the Vietnamese NA and the Australian Parliament, bilaterally and multilaterally on the basis of signed agreements with the Australia House of Representatives in 2009, and the Australian Parliament in 2013.
In particular, the two legislatures established friendly parliamentarians’ groups which will build co-operation plans to foster bilateral ties, including that between the two law-making bodies.
Speaking highly of Việt Nam’s initiative to assign personnel to South Sudan for the United Nations peacekeeping mission, Cosgrove said Australia will offer logistics support to Việt Nam to fulfill assigned tasks.
On the occasion, the host conveyed her thanks to the Australian Parliament for assisting the Vietnamese legislature in successfully organising the 26th annual Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum in January 2018.
She also asked the Governor-General to convey her invitation to President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives of Australia to visit Việt Nam. — VNS