Welcoming Tehan, Minh spoke highly of Australia’s response to COVID-19 and its adaptation to the “new normal,” resulting in economic recovery and heightened position at the international stage.

He expressed his delight at the strong development of the Vietnam-Australia strategic partnership in multiple fields, particularly economy, trade and investment - the focus of the bilateral strategic partnership.

At the reception

He cited that two-way trade rocketed by more than 40 percent year on year in the first half of 2021.

Given that both countries are signatories to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), he hoped that Vietnam and Australia will be among ten largest trade partners of each other.

The Deputy PM suggested Australia give Vietnamese shrimp balls and passion fruit access to its market while showing Vietnam’s interest in importing ore, coal, iron and steel, and rare earth from the country.

He also appreciated Australia’s role in the Asia-Pacific region and its stance in maintaining the regional peace, security and stability, particularly in the East Sea (South China Sea), in line with international law and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982.

He moved on to thank the Government of Australia for supporting Vietnam in its roles as ASEAN Chair 2020 and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council and pledging to provide the Southeast Asian nation with 40 million AUD (29.9 million USD) and 1.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine Astra Zeneca to aid its COVID-19 fight. He hoped for Australia’s continued support for COVAX vaccine-sharing facility and for poor and developing countries to access COVID-19 vaccine supply.

Also pleased to see the growing bilateral ties, Minister Tehan said Australia is committed to cooperating with Vietnam in tackling challenges from the pandemic.

He asked the Government of Vietnam to back the Australia-Vietnam Enhanced Economic Engagement Strategy (EEES) and continue fostering the bilateral trade and investment relations, with the focus placed on food security, water resources and high technology.

Tehan is on his first visit to Vietnam, one of the destinations during his two-week tour of five countries, also including Singapore, the Republic of Korea, Japan and the U.S. These are Australia’s important partners, accounting for around one fourth of its goods and service export turnover.

Source: VNA