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Vietnam & Australia pledge to deepen strategic partnership

Released at: 10:46, 25/05/2018

Vietnam & Australia pledge to deepen strategic partnership

President Tran Dai Quang (R) and Governor-General of Australia Peter Cosgrove (Photo: VNA)

State President and Australian Governor-General hold talks on May 24 in Hanoi.

by Long Van

During talks in Hanoi on May 24, State President Tran Dai Quang and Governor-General of Australia Peter Cosgrove agreed to strengthen political and strategic trust between the two countries by enhancing the exchange of visits and meetings, the Vietnam News Agency reports.

The talks were held immediately after the official welcoming ceremony for the Australian guest, who began his State visit to Vietnam, his first official visit as Governor-General, on May 23.

President Quang highlighted the significance of the Governor-General’s visit, expressing his belief that it will contribute greatly to promoting the Vietnam-Australia strategic partnership.

The Governor-General congratulated Vietnam on its important achievements in nation-building and development as well as its increasing role and profile in the region and the world.

He affirmed that Australia always attaches importance to its friendship with Vietnam and hopes to further deepen the newly-established strategic partnership.

The two expressed their pleasure at the strong and effective development of relations in recent times, saying that the regular exchange of high-ranking delegations at all levels reflect the two sides’ respect for the reinforcement of political trust and mutual understanding.

They believe the two countries have reaped encouraging outcomes in their economic ties.

Two-way trade hit nearly $6.5 billion in 2017. Australia has poured $1.8 billion into 400 projects in Vietnam, ranking it 19th out of 129 countries and territories investing in the country.

They agreed to continue organizing activities to celebrate the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties, thus raising public awareness of bilateral relations.

The leaders stressed the need to improve the efficiency of existing bilateral cooperation mechanisms and to promote newly-formed cooperation mechanisms such as the economic partnership, the innovation partnership, the agriculture partnership, and the meeting of foreign ministers.

The two sides should make more effort to push cooperation in fields such as security and defense, economics and trade, science and technology, education and training, and development aid, towards expanding their collaboration in other potential domains, they said.

President Quang suggested the two sides seriously reconsider trade barriers, which can affect key exports, and devise policies encouraging Vietnamese and Australian enterprises to increase investment in fields of Australia’s strength and Vietnam’s demand, including energy, infrastructure, telecommunications, banking and finance, mining, manufacturing, high-tech agriculture, education, and tourism.

Governor-General Cosgrove affirmed that Australia will continue to promote security and defense links with Vietnam, focusing on training and joining the UN peacekeeping force, adding that his country will also actively support Vietnam in resolving the consequences of post-war unexploded ordinance (UXO).

The country will also provide Vietnam with information related to missing Vietnamese soldiers, in the spirit of the memorandum of understanding signed between the two sides in 2015, he added.

President Quang thanked the Australian side for continuing to give Vietnam priority in its official development assistance (ODA) provision, affirming that Australia-funded development projects have been implemented effectively in Vietnam.

The construction of My Thuan Bridge and Cao Lanh Bridge in the Mekong Delta, built with Australian funding, are vivid symbols of the Vietnam-Australia friendship, he said.

The leaders also highlighted the potential for the two countries to expand their collaboration in education and training, cultural exchanges, tourism, labor, and sport, saying that these can directly help enhance the friendship between the two sides.

President Quang noted a sharp increase in the number of Vietnamese going to study in Australia, which has reached nearly 30,000.

He mentioned the fact that around 1,000 Australians visited Vietnam under exchange programs and the New Colombo Plan.

They agreed to make it easy for the two countries’ airlines to open more direct flights connecting major cities and to encourage citizens to join the Vietnam-Australia Work and Holiday program.

The two also compared notes on regional and international issues of common concern.

They affirmed mutual support at regional and international forums, especially the UN and ASEAN and cooperative mechanisms led by ASEAN, a consistent stance in East Sea-related issues, and close cooperation in implementing the newly-signed Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The Australian leader invited President Quang to visit Australia at a convenient time.

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