Press statements - Vietnam

04 Jun 2023
Hanoi, Vietnam
Prime Minister, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Bilateral meeting; Vietnam-Australia relations

PHAM MINH CHINH, PRIME MINISTER OF THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM: The Honourable Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, distinguished delegates, once again, I'd like to extend my warmest welcome to you, Mr Prime Minister, on your first official visit to Vietnam. This visit bears great importance, for it coincides with the year of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two countries, 1973-2023. And the fifth anniversary of our strategic partnership, 2018-2023. This visit speaks to the deepening of the Vietnam-Australia strategic partnership, would add depth and effectiveness. I've had excellent bilateral talks with the Prime Minister here in a frank and candid manner with a high level of trust. The two sides have reviewed all areas of cooperation and note with satisfaction the flourishing relationship between our two countries as we strive towards a brighter future. Political trust, mutual understanding and respect are constantly bolstered via delegation exchanges and contacts at the high level and between our two peoples. Economic and trade cooperation becomes a highlight in our bilateral ties for their trade turnover last year of nearly $16 billion USD, an increase of nearly 30 per cent against 2021. Defence and security cooperation enjoys with effectiveness and substance, especially in UN peacekeeping operations, combating transnational crime, cyber crimes, among others. Collaboration and education, training, agriculture, tourism culture, labour, science, technology, innovation recorded encouraging outcomes with a multitude of effective programs and projects for cooperation. The two countries share a common vision for an Indo-Pacific region of peace, stability, openness and inclusiveness with ASEAN centrality upheld. We reach a consensus on the ways and means to further bolster cooperation going forward so as to strengthen political trust for the social economic recovery and development and effectively respond to global challenges. Accordingly, first, the two countries will strive to further bolster political trust via delegation exchanges and high level contacts. The two countries will also implement bilateral cooperation mechanisms to further deepen cooperation items in our strategic partnership, with a view towards elevating such relationship to a new height in the time to come. Second, the countries will make the most of defence and security cooperation, striving to soon sign an agreement on peacekeeping partnership and work closely in combating transnational crime and other types of crime. Third, Vietnam and Australia will continue to implement the action plan to realise the EEES for 2021-2025, striving to reach a trade turnover of $30 billion USD in the time to come and double two-way investment. We shall also strive to bolster, to enhance connectivity between our two economies, including connectivities in terms of transportation, finance, banking, e-commerce. We shall encourage business communities in both countries to increase investment in each other. I do hope that Australia will continue to facilitate market access for Vietnamese agricultural goods for a better trade balance. Fourth, we shall continue to seek further collaboration between our education institutions, encouraging major Australian universities to expand their business in Vietnam, expand their operations in Vietnam and assist Vietnam in human resources development, high-quality human resources development, one of our three strategic breakthroughs. Fifth, we will step up tourism cooperation, cultural exchange, and people to people exchange. We also reached agreement on soon signing an agreement on tourism cooperation. Vietnam requested Australia to create favourable conditions for the local Vietnamese community to settle down, thereby making substantive contributions to Australia's social economy development and serving as a bridge of friendship connecting our two countries. Six, we shall expand cooperation in climate action, digital transformation, green transition and the development of the circular economy. Australia will support Vietnam in its energy transition so as to fulfill its commitment of net zero emissions by 2050. The two sides agreed to soon sign a cooperation agreement in the field of digital transformation, digital economy, digital society, digital population and in other fields of digital technology, with importance especially to the people of Vietnam. Seventh, the two countries will continue to support each other at multilateral forums, particularly the UN, ASEAN and ASEAN-led mechanisms. As necessary to both step up dialogue, build trust and encourage countries to engage in dialogue and cooperation for common goals, and ensure ASEAN centrality, the two countries will also bolster cooperation and cooperation mechanisms at the Mekong Subregion. I'd like to thank Australia for identifying Vietnam as a central partner in its development strategy and cooperation strategy with ASEAN countries. Eighth, the two sides reaffirm the importance of ensuring peace, stability, security, safety, freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea or South China Sea. The two sides also reiterated the need to address the spirit via peaceful means in line with international law, particularly the UNCLOS 1982. The two sides agree to continue to exchange information and bolster maritime cooperation. We'd like to thank the government and people of Australia for its financial assistance for rapid and sustainable development in Vietnam. And during this visit, Mr Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will also mention this assistance in a number of important fields after this remark. Mr Prime Minister, distinguished delegates, building upon the accomplishments of 50 years of excellent bilateral relations, Vietnam stands ready to accompany Australia in a new phase of cooperation, elevating our strategic partnership to a new height, with greater substance for the benefit of our two peoples and for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world. Thank you very much for your attention.

ANTHONY ALBANESE, PRIME MINISTER: Well, thank you very much, Prime Minister Chinh, for your warm and generous welcome to Vietnam. It is a great pleasure to be back here in Hanoi, my first visit as Prime Minister, at your invitation. As our two nations commit to deepening and advancing our partnership. It is especially meaningful to be here in 2023 as Australia and Vietnam celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations. Australia was proud to be one of the first countries to establish diplomatic ties with Vietnam, after the Paris Peace Accords in February 1973. Since then, our partnership has gone from strength to strength, across our economies in education, agriculture, security, and of course, in investment and trade, which has grown tremendously in recent years, but will grow even further in the future. Over 50 years, Vietnam has transformed into a manufacturing power, one of the fastest-growing countries in the world. Australia has been a willing partner in this transformation, delivering health, water and sanitation assistance, providing world-class infrastructure as Vietnam opened its economy to the world, including, of course, the first bridge over the Mekong, symbolising a bridge between our two peoples. And we have played a big role in education and skills provision for the people of Vietnam. Today, Prime Minister Chinh and I discussed the future of our relationship, and how we are now working together to address the challenges ahead. Challenges of security, challenges of dealing with climate change. I'm pleased to announce that Australia will be stepping up our support for Vietnam's energy transformation, with an important package of new overseas development assistance of $105 million for supporting sustainable infrastructure planning, for stimulating private investment in clean energy infrastructure, and delivering technical assistance to develop Vietnam's critical minerals sector. I'm also very pleased to announce an expansion of the Aus4Innovation program, under which Australia's CSIRO will collaborate with its Vietnamese counterparts, to build partnerships to commercialise joint scientific research in areas like applied agriculture and food research. And today, we saw the signing of a new agreement between AUSTRAC and the State Bank of Vietnam. It will enable financial intelligence to be shared to interrupt money laundering and terrorism financing. Of course, a mainstay of our relationship is education. It's important as an area to grow for our economies. But it's important also to develop those people to people relations that are so important to develop mutual understanding and cooperation. And yesterday, I was so pleased to open RMIT's Hanoi Industry and Innovation Hub, and to view RMIT's plan for its exciting next phase, including its $250 million investment in its new, upgraded Ho Chi Minh City campus. At that event, I was also pleased to acknowledge 60 new scholarships from Western Sydney University in Gough Whitlam's name. The University that ranked number one in the Global Times Higher Education Impact Rankings in just the last week. After all, it is through our people coming together that we unleash our best ideas, and we forge our deepest bonds. It is impossible to imagine modern Australia without the 350,000 Vietnamese people who've made a home there. In the spirit of helping our people stay connected, I am especially pleased to acknowledge today the announcements by Vietnam Airlines and Viet Jet of increased direct flights to Australian capitals. And in the case of Viet Jet, direct flights, for the first time, to beautiful Brisbane in the leadup to its hosting the Olympics in 2032, of course. All of this connection and cooperation comes together in our plans to elevate our relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. And the Prime Minister and I discussed today how we can do that as soon as possible, to signal the trust that we have in each other as top-tier partners and enduring friends. Finally, the Prime Minister and I discussed our shared vision of an open, stable, secure, prosperous and resilient Indo-Pacific that is respectful of national sovereignty. Australia sees and acknowledges the centrality of ASEAN. And next year, in March, we will host in Australia, a summit for ASEAN leaders, and I of course invited the Prime Minister to fully participate in that. But in addition, I am hopeful that the Prime Minister will be able to have a bilateral visit at a mutually convenient time in the future. Both Vietnam and Australia want to see a continuation of the peace and progress our countries have enjoyed in the past half-century. We're committed to working together bilaterally and in concert with ASEAN countries and through multilateral forums to further that vision. And it is, indeed, a great honour for me to be here with Prime Minister Chinh, as our two nations look ahead to the next 50 years of friendship and progress. I thank you, Prime Minister.