Thursday, 15/11/2018
Promoting Vietnam-Australia friendship and strategic partnership
3/7/2018 14:27' Send Print
President Tran Dai Quang receives Australian Governor Peter Cosgrove. Photo: VNA

During the visit, Australian Governor-General Peter Cosgrove held talks with President Tran Dai Quang, met the media; paid a courtesy visit to General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong; met with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, Chairman of the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City Nguyen Thanh Phong; visited and met the staff of the level-2 field hospital No.1 of Vietnam. On this occasion, Australian Governor Peter Cosgrove laid wreaths at the Monument to War Heroes and Martyrs, paid a floral tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at his Mausoleum.

At the meetings and contacts, the leaders expressed their joy at the strong and effective development of Vietnam-Australia relations in recent times. The two sides agreed to continue organizing activities to celebrate the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties, thus raising awareness of the public, especially young people and students, of the bilateral relations.

Setting orientations for the strategic partnerships in the coming time, the leaders stressed the need to improve the efficiency of existing bilateral cooperation mechanisms, promote newly-formed cooperation mechanisms such as Economic partnership, Innovation partnership, Agriculture partnership, and the meeting of Foreign Ministers, and attach importance to friendship and exchanges among social circles.

The two sides should make more efforts to push up pillar cooperation fields such as security-defense; economy-trade; science-technology; education-training; and development aid, towards expanding their collaboration in other potential domains. The year 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of defense cooperation between the two countries. This relationship spans across sectors, such as education-training, cooperation in maritime security and peacekeeping. By the end of 2018, Australia will help Vietnam send its peacekeepers to South Sudan for the first time.

In terms of economic and trade cooperation, Australia and Vietnam have increasingly strong economic partnerships in trade, investment and development cooperation. Two-way trade between the two countries reached US$11.9 billion, Vietnam is Australia's 15th largest trading partner. On this basis, the two sides will seriously take into account trade barriers, which can affect their key exports; and devise policies encouraging Vietnamese and Australian enterprises to increase investment in each other country, creating a breakthrough to trade and investment in the coming time. Vietnam highly appreciates Australia's continued ODA to Vietnam, especially Cao Lanh bridge which was completed on schedule, and inaugurated on 27 May 2018. The bridge built with a total capital of US$ 160 million funded by the Australian Government marking itself as a vivid symbol of the Australian Government's support for building infrastructure to improve living conditions and facilitate economic development in the Mekong River Delta.

The two sides also promote areas of cooperation that have a positive and direct impact on the strengthening of friendship and mutual understanding, such as education -training, science-technology, culture, sports, tourism, and labor. Approximately 30,000 Vietnamese students are studying in Australia; more than 60.000 Vietnamese students who graduated in Australia are working in Vietnam; around 1,000 Australians visited Vietnam under exchange programmes and the New Colombo Plan. In 2017, nearly 400,000 Australian tourists came to Vietnam, more than 200 Vietnamese citizens registered to work in Australia under Vietnam-Australia Work and Holiday programme . They agreed to make it easy for the two countries’ airline firms to open more direct flights connecting their big cities. These are crucial elements contributing to linking friendship and cooperation between the two countries which need more concern in the coming time.

The two sides compared notes on regional and international issues of mutual concern; agreed that in addition to some positive developments, there are potential factors that could negatively impact the regional trend of peace, stability and cooperation, including terrorism, transnational crime, cyber security and maritime security. Both sides affirmed to continue close coordination at regional and international fora, including the United Nations, ASEAN and ASEAN-led institutions; and coordinate position on the East Sea issues and implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Phuong Tra