|Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) and Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marise Payne.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc gave a reception to visiting Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marise Payne in Hanoi on June 13, during which he congratulated the latter on her reappointment as Minister for Foreign Affairs cum Minister for Women of Australia.
Phuc glowingly spoke of Payne’s role in and significant contributions to fostering the Vietnam-Australia strategic partnership over the past years in both positions as the Minister for Foreign Affairs at present and the Minister for Defence in the past.
He welcomed Payne for selecting Vietnam as one of the first countries to visit right in the second week of her new working tenure.
The government leader said Vietnam-Australia ties have grown steadily, adding that Australia has annually trained close to 30,000 Vietnamese students.
Last year’s two-way trade hit US$7.7 billion, a year-on-year increase of 19.3 percent. Australia currently ranks 19th among 128 foreign investors in Vietnam with a total investment of more than US$1.84 billion while Vietnam is running 47 direct investment projects in the Pacific country.
Apart from economic ties, the potential for bilateral cooperation in other field remains large, PM Phuc said and asked both sides to review the implementation of the Vietnam-Australia action programme for 2016-2019 and begin the building of an action programme to realize the bilateral strategic partnership in the next period with special measures and goals to further deepen the bilateral cooperation in a wide range of areas.
It is essential to promote the current bilateral cooperation mechanisms, especially the annual coordination mechanisms at the ministerial level, he added.
The Vietnamese cabinet leader said he hopes Australia will continue providing official development assistance (ODA) for Vietnam and assisting it to improve the administration capacity and experience in managing the economy amidst the Fourth Industrial Revolution and e-government.
He applauded the effective cooperation and coordination between Vietnam and Australia at regional and international forums, especially the United Nations (UN), ASEAN-Australia partnership and expanded ASEAN mechanisms, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum, Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), and Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
He expected that Australia would continue backing and coordinating closely with Vietnam when the country takes over the role as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 term and chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2020, including the organization of the ASEAN-Australia Summit in 2020.
On the East Sea issue, PM Phuc said that Vietnam is appreciative of Australia’s viewpoint and hopes Australia will continue to have a strong voice and support the stance of ASEAN and Vietnam in the spirit of peace, friendship, freedom of aviation and navigation, and compliance with international law.
Payne, in turn, said she will make greater efforts to boost the relationship between the two countries, saying that Australian PM Scott Morrison attributes great importance to cooperation with Vietnam and hopes to visit the Southeast Asian country soon.
The Australian diplomat congratulated Vietnam on becoming a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 term, which, she said, indicated the increasingly important role of Vietnam in the international arena.
She agreed upon PM Phuc’s proposal on augmenting bilateral trade and investment ties, saying the CPTPP has opened up a wealth of cooperation opportunities and many Australian businesses desire to intensify investment in Vietnam.
The guest said she will direct the Australian foreign ministry to expand new cooperation with Vietnam in the spirit of strategic partnership.
She affirmed her nation’s willingness to help Vietnam realize its development priorities such as infrastructure, digital capacity, and cyber security as well as continue bolstering coordination with Vietnam in the East Sea issue to ensure regional peace, stability and prosperity.