The Vietnamese side was led by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung and the Australian side was headed by Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade Richard Maude and Acting Deputy Secretary for Strategic Policy and Intelligence Tom Hamilton.
At the dialogue, the two sides noted with satisfaction the vigorous growth of bilateral ties after their ties were upgraded to the level of strategic partnership in March 2018 and reiterated the important role and position of each side in the other’s foreign policy.
The two nations have intensified high-level exchange visits this year as they have celebrated the 45th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties.
With regard to the outcomes of these visits and the joint action programme for 2016-2019, the two sides drew up major directions to make their strategic partnership more pragmatic, effective, and comprehensive, especially in politics, security-defence, economics, trade, investment, and science-technology.
They consented to further reinforce their political trust through the exchange of all-level visits and step up bilateral economic cooperation by full tapping the other side’s advantages. They were also unanimous in capitalizing on the growing economic connectivity in the region, notably the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), as well as speeding up the implementation of new mechanisms set up within the framework of the strategic partnership in respective of diplomacy, defence, and economy with the aim of deepening bilateral cooperation.
The duo discussed regional and global strategic issues of shared concern and underlined the need to prioritize joint projects on people-to-people exchange, education, labour, tourism, culture, and sports.
They compared notes on the regional situation while highlighting the Asia-Pacific as a region with dynamic growth that has captured the great attention of major partners across the globe.
The pair welcomed the combined efforts by countries both in and outside the region to promote collaboration and dialogue, as well as building trust for peace, stability, and development in Asia-Pacific. They concurred to augment cooperation at regional organisations and forums, such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF), and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM).
The Australian side assured that it would continue coordinating closely with ASEAN and support its efforts to foster the intra-bloc solidarity, narrow development gaps, and enhance ASEAN’s centrality in the regional structure.
The two sides also raised concern over emerging challenges, such as terrorism, transnational crimes, cyber security, energy security, climate change, and water security. They agreed to boost information sharing and closer collaboration within both multilateral and bilateral frameworks to minimize the negative impacts of these challenges.
Australia affirmed its readiness to share experience and supports Vietnam when the Southeast Asian nation becomes a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in the 2020 -2021 tenure.
Both sides voiced concern over escalating trade tensions that have retarded the growth of free trade in the region and the world. Vietnam welcomed the Australian House of Representatives’ ratification of the CPTPP and the country is making every effort to adopt the deal this year and put it into force soon.
Regarding the recent situation in the East Sea, they emphasized the importance of maintaining peace, stability as well as security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation. They underscored the need to strictly comply with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and to peacefully settle disputes without the use of, or threat to use force.
They underlined the necessity to expedite the full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and accelerate the conclusion of an effective, practical and legally-binding Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
They were of the same mind about the organization of the next Vietnam-Australia deputy ministerial-level dialogue on foreign affairs and defence in Australia in 2019.