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Jan 22, 2021 / 14:33

Vietnam, Australia to strengthen ties to strategic partnership by 2023

The two countries will soon sign the Australia-Vietnam Enhanced Economic Engagement Strategy (EEES).

The relations between Vietnam and Australia would be elevated to Strategic Partnership in 2023 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic relations.

 Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. 

The plan was mentioned at a phone talk on January 21 between Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison.

To make the target possible, Prime Minister Phuc suggested that the two sides strengthen cooperation to become one of top 10 trade partners of each other and double two-way investment flow.

Mr. Phuc stressed the need to soon sign the Australia-Vietnam Enhanced Economic Engagement Strategy (EEES), while promoting cooperation in the framework of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

According to Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the two-way trade in 2019 was valued at US$11.6 billion. Vietnam is Australia’s 14th largest trading partner and Australia is estimated to be Vietnam’s 14th largest trading partner.

Mr. Phuc expected Australia continue to provide technical support to Vietnam and further open its market for Vietnamese agricultural products such as fresh shrimp, longan, passion fruit, rambutan and star apple.

 Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (right) and Australia's PM Scott Morrison. Photos: Quang Hieu/VGP 

Vietnam expects Australia’s investment in telecommunications, infrastructure, hi-tech agriculture, finance-banking, mining, energy, manufacturing, education, and tourism, while increasing official development assistance (ODA) to Vietnam with a focus on infrastructure, agricultural, rural and mountainous development, poverty reduction, climate change response, and high-quality human resource training.

He also asked the Australian government to facilitate the Vietnamese expat community so that they would be able to keep Vietnamese culture and language.

Morrison pledged to provide Vietnam with more resources and support, including vaccines against Covid-19.

He agreed with Mr. Phuc on the need to deepen economic connectivity between the two countries, including economic development programs in the Mekong sub-region, and tripartite cooperation mechanisms in the region involving Vietnam, Australia, Laos and Cambodia.

He also affirmed further support for Vietnam in performing the UN Security Council’s non-permanent member in 2021 and in conducting UN peacekeeping operations.

They reiterated the significance of strengthening cooperation and maintaining peace, stability, navigation freedom, and legitimate rights and interest stated in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as well as emphasizing the peaceful resolutions of disputes based on international law, including UNCLOS 1982, the full and effective compliance with the Code of Conduct (COC), towards the adoption of a substantial and effective Declaration of Conduct (DOC) which abides by international law.

The Vietnamese Prime Minister lauded the Vietnam visit by Morrison in 2019 and invited him to visit the country again.