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Contributing to deepening Australia-Vietnam cooperation
24/8/2018 9:39' Send Print
National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and Speaker of the House of Representatives Tony Smith at the official welcoming ceremony. Photo: VNA

During the visit, Australian House Speaker Tony Smith held talks with National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, paid courtesy visits to General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, President Tran Dai Quang, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and met leaders of Ho Chi Minh City.

At the meetings, the two sides emphasized the importance of the visit in the context of 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations. The political relations between the two countries are increasingly reliable and close, especially since the two countries upgraded relations to Strategic Partnership in March 2018. In that spirit, in the coming time, the two countries would continue to promote substantive cooperation, especially in pillar fields and areas of potential of the two sides such as economy trade and investment, security, national defense, education and training, high technology agriculture, development aid, among others; and at the same time, create more favorable conditions for people, cultural, tourism and sports exchanges.

The two sides would continue to strengthen exchange of delegations, contacts, and legislative experience; supervise and assist the Governments of the two countries to effectively implement commitments under the 2016-2019 Program of Action and agreements and documents reached during high-level visits of the two countries’ leaders, further facilitate people exchanges, and bring into play the role of Parliamentary Friendship Group and Friendship Association in each country.

In terms of economic and trade cooperation, Australia is one of Vietnam's leading trade and investment partners, with a trade turnover increase of more than 7% a year, reaching nearly US$6.5 billion in 2017 and $3.62 billion in the first 6 months of 2018. Australia boasts 416 investment projects with a total investment of $1.8 billion, ranked 20 over 126 countries and territories investing in Vietnam. Vietnam affirmed its commitment to boost relations with Australia, a country with a growing role and position in the region and the world and a major and important partner of Vietnam. Highly appreciating Australia continued support to create favorable conditions for Vietnam's agricultural products, Vietnam has supported Australian businesses to increase their investment in Vietnam, especially in areas of high demand in Vietnam such as energy, infrastructure, telecommunications, finance-banking, mining, manufacturing, hi-tech agriculture, education, tourism, among others.

Australia's Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Vietnam has seen remarkable results. In particular, the Cao Lanh Bridge was inaugurated on 27 May 2018 during the visit to Vietnam by Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop as a symbol of the strategic partnership between the two countries, an evidence of Australia’s effective assistance for socio-economic development of the Mekong Delta provinces of Vietnam.

For the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), of which the two countries are members, Vietnam and Australia were determined to ratify the CPTPP in 2018 and would work closely in implementing this Agreement.

Highly valuing cooperation in education and training between the two countries over the years, while expressing gratitude to the Australian Government for creating conditions for Vietnamese students to study in Australia, Vietnam asked Australia to continue its support to develop high quality human resources, increase the number of government scholarships, support vocational training, and English teaching. Vietnam would continue to work closely with Australia in implementing the New Colombo Plan in Vietnam.

In order to promote cooperation and friendship between the two countries, Viet Nam requested Australia to continue to creating favorable conditions for the Vietnamese community with nearly 300,000 people to live, work and study in accordance with Australia’ law, contributing to the development of each country as well as bilateral relationship. Vietnam would also provide favorable conditions for Australian citizens to travel, study, invest and do businesses in Vietnam.

Tourism cooperation between the two countries has been strengthened. In 2017, nearly 400,000 Australian tourists came to Vietnam. Vietnam’s national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has 18 non-stop flights per week to major Australian cities. VietJet Aviation Joint Stock Company is studying to open Brisbane-Ho Chi Minh City direct flight route in 2019. Regarding labor cooperation, in 2017, more than 200 Vietnamese citizens registered to work in Australia under the Work and Holiday Program. Vietnam hoped that Australia would continue to facilitate the participation of Vietnamese citizens in the program.

The two sides asserted that the bilateral cooperation in the field of security and defense has increasingly become substantive, reliable and stable. The two sided coordinated the participation in UN peacekeeping force, anti-terrorism and transnational criminals and English training.

In regional and international relations, Vietnam hailed Australia’s Foreign Policy White Paper issued in November 2017 affirming that relations with Southeast Asia and ASEAN including Vietnam were Australia's priority; highly valued Australia’s increasing role and responsibility for the region, especially in the field of disaster relief; and affirmed that Vietnam would cooperate closely and contribute to boosting the relationship between Australia and ASEAN and other countries in the region.

The two sides noted close cooperation and coordination in regional and international forums, especially the United Nations, APEC, ASEAN, ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA), Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and ASEAN-led mechanisms. Australia affirmed its support for Vietnam's candidacy for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 term.

The two sides also pointed to the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, safety, freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea to countries in the region, and supported the settlement of disputes by peaceful means on the basis of international law.

Phuong Tra