Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh speaks at the event.

Congratulating Australia on its prominent achievements, PM Chinh thanked the country for donating over 26.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Vietnam and maintaining its provision of official development assistance (ODA).

PM Albanese congratulated Vietnam on its election to the United Nations Human Rights Council for 2023-2025, and affirmed that relations with Vietnam are always important to Australia, which hopes to strengthen and develop their strategic partnership to a new height.

The two leaders valued the maintenance of high-level delegation exchanges and meetings, including the upcoming official visit to Australia by National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue.

They noted economic and trade ties have been flourishing, with bilateral trade reaching 12.4 billion USD in 2021 (up by nearly 50%) and 12 billion USD in the first nine months of 2022 (up by over 30%), making Australia the country’s seventh largest trade partner and Vietnam the 10th largest of Australia. Meanwhile, partnerships in security-defense, labour, education-training, agriculture, science-technology, tourism, aviation, locality-to-locality cooperation, and people-to-people exchanges have also been growing.

They shared the view that connections in economy, trade and investment are thriving, but there remains potential as both countries have high demand during the post-pandemic economic recovery.

PM Chinh asked Australia to continue providing technical support and further open its market to fresh fruit and fishery products from Vietnam, stop anti-dumping investigations into certain Vietnamese goods, and accelerate customs clearance at its ports of entry.

He called on Australia to encourage its enterprises to increase investment in Vietnam, particularly in renewable energy, hi-tech agriculture, telecommunications, infrastructure development, and supply chains. He also recommended it facilitate large financial investment funds and financial service firms to explore chances in Vietnam, and create favorable conditions for Vietnamese businesses and people in the country.

For his part, PM Albanese asked the two sides to press on with implementing the Enhanced Economic Engagement Strategy (EEES) and also agreed with Chinh’s proposals, including on increasing Australian investment in Vietnam, strengthening ties in education and training, granting more scholarships for Vietnamese students, boosting the implementation of Australia’s agriculture visa program, and opening more direct air routes.

During the phone talks

The two PMs agreed to continue seeking opportunities and enhancing ties in potential fields like climate change response, digital transformation, energy transition, hi-tech agriculture, infrastructure development, and supply chains.

The Vietnamese leader called on Australia to continue assisting ASEAN to improve healthcare capacity and train high-quality human resources while supporting the bloc’s efforts to narrow the development gap, including in the Mekong sub-region.

With regard to the East Sea (South China Sea) issue, Albanese expressed his support for ASEAN and Vietnam’s stance and viewpoint, sharing the view on the need to resolve disputes by peaceful means on the basis of international law, including the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982; guarantee security, safety, and freedom of navigation and overflight in the region with respect for countries’ interests; fully implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC); and build a substantive, effective, and efficient code of conduct (COC) in the waters.

On this occasion, PM Chinh invited his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese to pay an official visit to Vietnam. The Australian PM accepted the invitation and said the trip will be organized when the two countries mark the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic ties in 2023.

Source: VNA