VOV.VN - President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on June 27 hosted separate receptions for Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong, who has been on a three-day official visit to Vietnam.
During the meeting with the Australian diplomat, President Phuc said he hopes that the visit by Penny Wong will make important contributions to fostering the strategic partnership between Vietnam and Australia.
He congratulated Australia on its successful organisation of the federal election and establishment of a new government led by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, affirming that Vietnam always treasures and works hard to reinforce its relations with Australia - a strategic partner in the South Pacific region, and a comprehensive strategic partner of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
He also briefed the Australian FM on Vietnam’s achievements in combating the COVID-19 pandemic and switching to a new period of safely and flexibly adapting to and effectively controlling the pandemic. He thanked Australia for swiftly providing Vietnam with COVID-19 vaccines, especially the vaccines for children from 5-11 years old.
The Vietnamese State leader showed his elation at the positive progress in the Vietnam-Australia strategic partnership over the years, especially through delegation exchanges and economic cooperation, with two-way trade hitting US$12.4 billion in 2021, up 50% year on year.
Phuc suggested both sides continue to maintain sound collaboration in areas of politics, security-defence, trade-investment and ODA, and rapidly restore and further step up cooperation in tourism, education-training, people-to-people exchange, and cooperation as both countries have fully reopened their doors.
In response, Wong said she is elated to visit Vietnam for the first time in her capacity as the Minister for Foreign Affairs, and affirmed that Australia highly valued the role and position of Vietnam in the region, and pledged to continue to enhance the strategic partnership with Vietnam.
She went on to say that on the foundation of the outcomes of the earlier talks with her Vietnamese counterpart Bui Thanh Son on the same day, her nation will boost closer coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and relevant agencies of Vietnam to make the Australia-Vietnam strategic partnership deeper, more practical and effective towards a new height amid the two sides preparing for the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic relations in 2023, while expanding the ties to other promising areas such as climate change, green growth, and education-training.
The Australian diplomat agreed with President Phuc’s proposal to continue to offer favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community to live, study and work in Australia and integrate into the local community, thus making positive contributions to the sound relationship between the two countries.
With regard to the regional and international situation, the minister affirmed that Australia attaches great importance to ASEAN's central role and the Australia-ASEAN comprehensive strategic partnership.
Australia will continue to pay attention to bolstering cooperation with the Mekong sub-region and support the maintenance of peace, stability as well as security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea, and the respect for international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
On the occasion, President Phuc asked the minister to convey his invitation to the Governor-General of Australia to visit Vietnam again at a convenient time in the future.
Receiving Penny Wong, PM Pham Minh Chinh hailed Australia’s successes in the federal election, COVID-19 vaccination and economic recovery. He thanked the nation’s provision of COVID-19 vaccines, medical equipment and supplies for Vietnam during the fight against the pandemic, particularly 14.4 million doses of vaccine for Vietnamese children.
The Vietnamese Government chief glowingly spoke of the strong growth of the Vietnam-Australia strategic partnership. The exchange of high-level delegations and meetings have been held regularly between the countries; bilateral trade reached US$12.4 billion in 2021; Vietnam began investing directly in Australia; and the two nations approved the Vietnam-Australia Enhanced Economic Engagement Strategy and a joint statement on commitment to practical climate action, Chinh told his guest.
He suggested the new Government of Australia continue paying attention to boosting ties with Vietnam, particularly in the exchange of high-level delegations; implementation of cooperation mechanisms and key pacts signed; and promotion of trade-investment, education-training, culture, tourism, and people-to-people exchange.
Chinh asked Australia to maintain its official development assistance (ODA) for Vietnam in agricultural and rural development, poverty eradication, high-quality human resource development, startups and innovation, and strategic infrastructure, especially in the Mekong Delta.
Both nations should study and propose specific concrete cooperation projects in other potential sectors such as climate change response, green growth, digital economy, cybersecurity, and high-tech farming, he continued.
For her part, Wong affirmed that her nation greatly valued Vietnam's role and position in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the region and the world and is committed to continue strengthening the strategic partnership with Vietnam to make the bilateral relations more practical and effective towards new heights in the time ahead.
She applauded Vietnam’s commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and said she will work hand in hand with Vietnam in this field.
Wong noted Australia's appreciation for ASEAN’s centrality and its freshly established comprehensive strategic partnership with the bloc.
Australia will continue giving priority to cooperation with the Mekong sub-region and agreed on the need to maintain peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea as well as to respect international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), she told Chinh.
On this occasion, PM Chinh asked Wong to convey his invitation to Australian PM Anthony Albanese to pay an official visit to Vietnam at an appropriate time.