In an interview granted to the press, the minister noted that there's been "a wonderful relationship between Australia and Vietnam over the last 50 years” and Australia wants to work with Vietnam to continue the improvement in living standards so that Vietnam can beat the goal of being a fully developed country by 2045.

“There's lots of ways in which Australia and Vietnam could work together,” he said, suggesting the two countries cooperate in education, tourism, mining, hydrogen, and particularly energy transition.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (right) and Australian Minister for Trade and Tourism Don Farrell 

Regarding the bilateral trade, Farrell said it is driven by free trade agreements (FTAs), including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

“We believe the very high standards that Vietnam has committed to will continue to ensure a strong, robust and prosperous trading relationship between Australia and Vietnam. We're also working very closely with Vietnam on the Indo-Pacific economic framework. And that gives us an opportunity to jointly have an agreement with lots of other countries in this region,” the official said.

“We think that there are many opportunities where Australia and Vietnam can build on the relationship that we've got already to improve the prosperity of both of our nations.”

The minister said to encourage Vietnamese and Australian businesses to invest in the respective markets, commitments and agreements must be put into place, and words must be translated into “practical outcomes.” 

Asked about potential for tourism cooperation between the two countries, Farrell said during the pre-pandemic time, about 400,000 Australians visited Vietnam, and about 120,000 Vietnamese came to Australia for holidays.

“We want to get back to those levels and to exceed them. So the first thing we need to do is get more airlines flying between our two countries,” he pointed out.

“There's a lot of demand by Vietnamese to come to Australia, but particularly, there's a lot of demand by Australians to come to Vietnam. We've got to encourage that. We've got to push down the price of travel.”

Three Vietnamese carriers, namely Vietnam Airlines, Bamboo Airways, and Vietjet Air, have operated flights to Australia. Meanwhile, Australia’s Jetstar Airways has launched direct air routes between Melbourne/Sydney to Ho Chi Minh City.

Source: VNA