This visit marks the first time a Vietnamese PM has visited Australia since the two countries elevated their relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2018. It takes place at a special time when the two countries recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties and the fifth anniversary of comprehensive strategic partnership, contributing to generating a new impetus for bilateral ties in the foreseeable future. 

PM Pham Minh Chinh (right) and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese during Vietnam visit

For Vietnam, this visit aligns with the 13th National Party Congress’ foreign policy of developing relations with regional partners, including Australia.

About the PM’s agenda during the visit, Tam said following the official welcome ceremony in Canberra, Chinh is scheduled to engage in various significant activities, including talks, signing and exchange of documents, press conferences, a courtesy call to the Governor-General and engagements with high-ranking

Australian leaders, intellectuals, businesses, educational establishments and research institutes there.

On this occasion, both sides expect to sign and exchange numerous important cooperation documents across national defense, energy, trade, banking-finance, diplomacy, education, justice, sci-tech, among others.

According to him, Vietnam and Australia have become one of each other's top 10 trading partners, with two-way trade reaching 13.8 billion USD in 2023. Australia has 621 investment projects in Vietnam, which invests in 92 projects in Australia. Notably, Australia continues to be one of the leading suppliers of official development assistance (ODA) to Vietnam and among the top 15 destinations for Vietnamese tourists.

He added that significant cooperation achievements that align with interests of both countries after more than five decades of diplomatic ties continue driving their strong relations, including growing political trust; a strong commitment and goodwill toward cooperation demonstrated by their leaders, people and enterprises; a robust legal framework with signed cooperation documents, including the Australia - Vietnam Enhanced Economic Engagement Strategy (EEES); and deep cooperation in traditional areas such as economy, trade, education-training, tourism and people-to-people exchange.

Underscoring the Australian Government's strong focus on its relationship with Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, the diplomat noted Australia's recognition of ASEAN's central role in the region, evidenced by the launch of its Southeast Asia Economic Strategy to 2040 in September 2023.

In his view, the demands of the Industry 4.0 era also bring new impetus to both countries to expand new cooperation areas such as innovation, green economy, digital economy, digital transformation, clean energy transition, environment and climate change adaptation.

Concerning the ASEAN - Australia Special Summit marking their 50th anniversary of dialogue relations, he said Australia's hosting of the event is a clear sign of the country's commitment to further fostering ties with the bloc. It provides an opportunity to reflect on their past achievements and chart a course for the future in line with the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. The leaders will also discuss global and regional issues of common concern.

Looking ahead, Ambassador Tam highlighted promising prospects of ASEAN - Australia ties, particularly in economy, trade, and investment, buoyed by geographical proximity, high political determination, and the recent upgrade of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA).

He concluded by stressing Australia's position as one of ASEAN's comprehensive strategic partners and among the top economic partners, with bilateral trade and investment in 2022 nearing pre-pandemic levels.

Source: VNA