PM Chinh said the organization of the forum in the current context is necessary and timely. He hailed its theme “Connecting Regions: Partnerships for Resilient and Sustainable Supply Chains,” saying that it is of concern and matches priorities and strengths of Vietnam and Australia.

He suggested Australia continue working closely with Vietnam while co-chairing the OECD’s Southeast Asia Regional Program, adding that it affords both countries a chance to continue strengthening bilateral cooperation and connecting with multilateral activities, thus serving as bridge linking cooperation between OECD member states and Southeast Asia in a practical and effective manner, upholding international solidarity and multilateralism.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (R) and Assistant Minister for Trade and Assistant Minister for Manufacturing of Australia Senator Tim Ayres

With the people-centered mindset, he urged OECD member states, including Australia, to pay attention to human resources development and vocational skills for ASEAN and Vietnam.

The host proposed the Australian guest, in his position, further bolster bilateral economic-trade-investment ties, including continuing to open the market for Vietnamese agro-fisheries, ending anti-dumping investigation on several Vietnamese products, stepping up quarantine and customs clearance at border gates, creating conditions for Vietnamese firms to invest in Australia and encouraging Australian investment in Vietnam in the fields of renewable energy, hi-tech agriculture and strategic transport infrastructure.

He also suggested Australia offer support to the Vietnamese community living there to contribute to bilateral ties.

On the occasion, he thanked Australia for providing Vietnam with COVID-19 vaccines and supporting its run for a seat at the U.N. Human Rights Council for the 2023-2025 tenure.

Ayres, for his part, spoke highly of Vietnam's role as a co-chair of the OECD's Southeast Asian regional program for the 2022-2025 tenure, and said Australia will continue working closely with Vietnam to co-chair the program and promote cooperation in OECD suggested by the PM.

The Australian Government always treasures strategic partnership with Vietnam and wants to tighten bilateral relationship, he said.

In his capacity, he vowed to further boost ties with Vietnam in the fields of economy-trade-investment, agriculture, education-training, culture and labor.

He agreed that both nations need to further cultivate ties in response to regional and global challenges at present, including climate change and energy security.

Taking note of PM Chinh’s suggestions about cooperation in other areas, and promised to report to the Australian PM and Government.

On regional and international matters, including the East Sea (South China Sea) issue, Ayres shared Vietnam's stance on the settlement of disputes by peaceful means in line with international law, including the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, and supported the role and stance of ASEAN and early conclusion of an inclusive and effective Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

Source: VNA