Australian PM’s visit to Vietnam to open new prospects for bilateral ties
The upcoming visit of Australian Prime Minister Scott
Morrison is set to open up new prospects for Vietnam-Australia ties, according
to Vietnamese Ambassador to Australia Ngo Huong Nam.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) and Australian Prime
Minister Scott Morrison at the G20 Summit in Japan
In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency ahead ofthe visit, scheduled
for August 22 to 24, the ambassador recalled that duringthe Australia visit of
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in March last year, thetwo countries set up a
strategic partnership, marking a new chapter in bilateralrelations.
He stressed that over the past year, the two sides
haveimplemented the five cooperation pillars stated in the Joint Statement on
theestablishment of the partnership.
The diplomat highlighted that the two countries
havestrengthened trust through regular meetings and visits at high levels, as
wellas exchanges between ministries, agencies and localities.
Annual ministerial-level dialogues in the framework of
thestrategic partner have been held, such as the meeting of the two
countries’foreign ministers in March last year and that of defence ministers in
lastNovember. The meeting of economic ministers is slated to late this year.
At the same time, economy-trade has been the bright
point inthe partnership. Two-way trade reached nearly 7 billion USD in 2018 and
exceeded3.2 billion USD in the first half of 2019, up 8 percent on a yearly
Australia is the 19th biggest foreign investor ofVietnam
with total capital of some 1.9 billion USD. Recently, seven Vietnameselocalities
held a trade and investment promotion event in several Australianstates and
Vietnamese firms like VinGroup, TH Group and Vietjet
have implementedprojects in Australia.
Australian official development assistance to Vietnam
hasbeen maintained at a high level, contributing to the Southeast Asian
country’seconomic reform and human resources development.
The Cao Lanh bridge in the Mekong Delta province of Dong
Thap,which became operational in May last year, has become a symbol of
cooperationbetween the two countries, said the ambassador.
Regarding security-defence cooperation, he said the
twosides signed a Statement on Joint Vision in 2018, shaping long-term
tiesbetween the two countries in the field.
Along with support in English training, Australia helped
Vietnamtransport its level-2 field hospital to South Sudan for
peacekeepingoperations, while sharing experience with Vietnam in the field.
Over more than a year, three naval ships of
Australiavisited Ho Chi Minh City port and two visited Cam Ranh port.
The two sides have supported each other in searching
formissing-in-action soldiers. They have set up an annual security dialogue
atdeputy ministerial level, with the first meeting held in November 2018.
In science-technology, many Australian scientists
haveparticipated in research projects in Vietnam, while Australian
technologieshave been applied in Vietnam, especially in agriculture. Several
Vietnamese fruits,including litchee, mango and dragon fruit, have been accepted
in the Australianmarket.
At the same time, education cooperation and
people-to-peopleexchange have been expanded, noted the ambassador, adding that
about 30,000Vietnamese students are studying in Australia, creating the fifth
largest foreign student community in the country, while about 1,000 Australian
student sare studying in Vietnam.
In 2018, nearly 420,000 Australians visited Vietnam,
while250 Vietnamese registered to work in Australia in vacation labour
Vietnam and Australia have had effective collaboration
at multilateral forums, especially the ASEAN Regional Forum, the ASEAN Defence
Ministers’ Meeting Plus, the East Asia Summit, the Asia-Pacific Economic
Cooperation and the Asia-Europe Meeting.
Notably, after the Comprehensive and Progressive
Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) was signed earlier this year,
Vietnam andAustralia are working together to push for the on-schedule completion
of negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
Australia showed strong support to Vietnam in its run
for anon-permanent seat at the UN Security Council in the 2020-2021 tenure as
well as Vietnam’s ASEAN chairmanship in 2020.
The two countries have also worked together in the
spirit of equality, mutual respect and constructive cooperation to address
issues in which they still have differences.
Ambassador Nam noted that PM Morrison chose Vietnam for aforeign visit shortly
after he took his office in May 2019, which demonstrates the country’s desire to
develop ties with Vietnam.
Vietnam and Australia have much room and high potential
for boosting affiliation in economic issues, security and innovation.
The two countries are working closely together to become
leading trade partners. Economic partnership plays a key role in the bilateral
strategic partnership as Vietnam is expanding economic restructuring
andinternational integration, creating optimal conditions for localities
andbusinesses to broaden cooperation.
Both sides’ efforts to implement the CPTPP are also
amotivation for the acceleration of trade and investment cooperation, he said.
The ambassador said the Australian PM’s visit is
expected to create a new driving force and new prospects for bilateral
relations, especially in science-technology, people-to-people exchange, power
security, climate change response, maritime and aviation safety and security,
water security, and tackling trans-national crime.
According to him, during the visit, the two sides wil
ldiscuss regional and international security matters, including energy and water
security, climate change, maritime and aviation security, safety and freedom.
Ambassador Nam also expressed his belief that Australia,
acountry playing an important role in the region, will make positive
contributions to ensuring peace, stability, maritime and aviation security and
safety in line with international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on
theLaw of the Sea.-VNA