June 5, 2023
HÀ NỘI — Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced a support package worth A$105 million ($69.5 million) for Việt Nam’s climate change response and energy transition during his talks with Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính on Sunday in Hà Nội.
The two-day visit of the Australian leader took place on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries and the 5th anniversary of the Strategic Partnership. It is expected to create a new impetus for the two countries’ relations.
The two PMs said were pleased to see that the two countries’ relations are developing well and effectively in all fields with active delegation exchanges and high-level contacts.
They agreed that trade cooperation between the two sides is a bright spot with two-way turnover reaching nearly US$16 billion in 2022, surging 30 per cent compared to 2021.
The two countries have become top 10 trading partners of each other. Security and defence cooperation is increasingly effective and substantive, especially in training and supporting United Nations peacekeeping operations, and combating transnational crimes and cybercrimes. Cooperation in the fields of agriculture, education training, labour and people-to-people exchanges also developed strongly.
PM Albanese emphasised that Australia attaches importance to the strategic partnership with Việt Nam and considers Việt Nam the centre in the process of building Australia’s strategy for Southeast Asia.
During the talks on Sunday, the two leaders agreed to continue to promote economic, trade and investment cooperation, thereby effectively implementing the Enhanced Economic Engagement Strategy (EEES) between the two countries for the 2021-2025 period.
They also agreed that the two countries would strengthen economic cooperation as well as promote cooperation in defence, security, justice and other important fields such as ODA, education and training, science and technology, labour, transportation, tourism, climate change response and digital transformation.
The two sides agreed to promote the upgrading of relations to a new level in the future.
PM Chính affirmed that Việt Nam would create favourable conditions for Australian businesses to invest in the country in the fields of infrastructure development, telecommunications, finance-banking, education, and high tech agriculture, green transformation, digital transformation, and population data development.
The Vietnamese leader suggested Australia create favourable conditions for Vietnamese businesses to invest in Australia in the fields of mining, agriculture, e-commerce, aviation and tourism.
He also expressed his wish that Australia creates conditions to expand the market for Vietnamese exports.
PM Chính said he highly appreciated Australia’s increase of ODA for Việt Nam in the fiscal year 2023-2024 and proposed to consider ODA cooperation as an important element in the partnership in the future.
PM Albanese affirmed Australia’s desire to continue expanding security and defence cooperation with Việt Nam.
He affirmed continued maintenance of ODA cooperation, agreed to promote two-way investment cooperation and continue to increase scholarships for Vietnamese students.
The Australian leader also agreed to review the Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of the Socialist Republic of Việt Nam relating to Air Services (1995) to increase the number of flights between the two countries.
The two countries will also actively implement cooperation in new areas such as digital economy and digital transformation, he said.
Discussing the situation in the East Sea (known internationally as the South China Sea), the two leaders emphasised the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea, promoting dialogue, enhancing trust, and settling disputes by peaceful means in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Following the talks, the two Prime Ministers witnessed the exchange of four cooperation instruments between the two countries, including a Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of a ministerial-level dialogue mechanism on trade; a Memorandum of Understanding on the implementation of phase 2 of the Việt Nam-Australia Innovation Programme and a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in exchanging financial intelligence information related to money laundering and terrorist financing; Memorandum of Understanding between University of Economics Hồ Chí Minh City and Western Sydney University on scholarships for Vietnamese and regional students.
They also witnessed the award ceremony of certificates of opening more direct routes of Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet.
On the same day, PM Anthony also met with General Secretary of the Communist Party of Việt Nam Nguyễn Phú Trọng, State President Võ Văn Thưởng and National Assembly Chairman Vương Đình Huệ. — VNS