The two countries set up the diplomatic relationship in 1973 and promoted it into a strategic partnership on March 15, 2018.

Talking to the Vietnam News Agency, Hai said that in the action plan, they focus on three pillars: enhancing economic and trade connectivity, further intensifying the strategic cooperation in defense and security, and building knowledge and innovation partnerships.

Assessing the plan implementation, he held that the two countries have recorded encouraging results in economic cooperation.

Chairman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue (right) meets with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on November 30, 2022, as part of the former's official visit to Australia.

Despite the pandemic, bilateral trade in 2020, 2021 and, especially, 2022 still grew fast. It stood at 12.4 billion USD in 2021 and 16 billion USD in 2022, turning Vietnam into the 10th largest trading partner of Australia, which remains the seventh biggest one of the Southeast Asian nation. Both sides also signed the enhanced economic engagement strategy in 2021, helping promote the two economies’ connectivity.

With regard to defense and security ties, the action plan has continued to carry out the countries’ joint vision statement on further defense cooperation signed in 2018. They have also established and maintained many mechanisms such as the annual defense ministers’ meeting, the defense policy dialogue at the deputy ministerial level, the annual military cooperation consultation, and the diplomatic and defense strategy dialogue at the deputy ministerial level.

In addition, Australia has also assisted with the airlift of Vietnam’s peacekeeping force to U.N. missions over the last two years, Hai pointed out.

The Australian government has also kept the commitment to supporting Vietnam in the fields of knowledge and innovation via Aus4Innovation for 2018-2022, a cooperation program within the framework of the Australia - Vietnam innovation partnership. Its funding via Aus4Innovation has amounted to 13.45 million AUD (over 8.9 million USD) so far and is set to continue financing the expansion of activities in this regard, especially climate change response and post-COVID-19 economic recovery, preparing for the next phase of the program until 2025.

However, the expert noted, some cooperation areas haven’t lived up to the countries’ strategic partnership.

In terms of the room for bilateral ties in the future, he held that in the current context, aside from the three above-mentioned pillars, Vietnam and Australia still boast numerous opportunities and much potential for cooperation in such areas as agriculture, tourism, and climate change fight.

Vietnamese fruits on display at a farm produce trade fair in Australia

The researcher expressed his optimism about the prospect for lifting the current relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership, noting the upgrade will be based on the comprehensive partnership set up in 2009 and the strategic partnership in 2018.

When the strategic partnership took shape in 2018, the countries mentioned the collaboration in green economy and digital transformation, which Hai believed will be priority fields in the coming time.

Besides, cultural diplomacy should also be viewed as a strategic area as the Vietnamese community in Australia is sizeable, he added.

The expert perceived that if Vietnam and Australia implement four pillars well, namely security - defense, innovation, education - training, and culture, they will not only harvest concrete cooperation results but also sustainably maintain their strategic partnership, thereby helping promote each country’s stature in the region and the world.

Source: VNA