HANOI, Jun 13, 2019, VNA. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc hosted a reception for visiting Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marise Payne in Hanoi on June 13. PM Phuc congratulated Payne on her reappointment as Minister for Foreign Affairs cum Minister for Women of Australia, reported the Vietnam News Agency.
The PM spoke highly of Payne’s role in and significant contributions to promoting 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.
Relations between Vietnam and Australia have been developing fruitfully in the recent past, PM Phuc said, adding that Australia has annually trained nearly 30,000 Vietnamese students.
Two-way trade reached 7.7 billion USD in 2018, a year-on-year rise of 19.3 percent. Australia currently ranks 19th among 128 foreign investors in Vietnam with total investment of over 1.84 billion USD, while Vietnam is running 47 direct investment projects in Australia.
Besides economic ties, the potential for bilateral cooperation in other realms remains large, PM Phuc said.
He asked the two sides to review the implementation of the Vietnam-Australia action programme for 2016-2019 and begin the building of an action programme to realise the bilateral strategic partnership in the next period with special measures and goals to further deepen the bilateral cooperation in all fields.
The PM suggested the two sides effectively uphold the current bilateral cooperation mechanisms, especially the annual coordination mechanisms at the ministerial level.
Vietnam and Australia should increase trade and investment ties while stepping up cooperation in other important spheres such as education, training, culture, tourism, sports and people-to-people exchanges, creating a firm foundation for the expansion and enhancement of comprehensive cooperation at the central and local levels, he recommended.
PM hoped Australia will continue providing official development assistance (ODA) for Vietnam and assisting the Southeast Asian country to improve the administration capacity and experience in managing the economy amidst the Fourth Industrial Revolution and e-government.
The PM extolled 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 hoped Australia will continue supporting 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 organisation of the ASEAN-Australia Summit in 2020.
Regarding the East Sea issue, PM Phuc clearly stated that Vietnam highly appreciated Australia’s viewpoint and hoped Australia will continue to have a strong voice and back the stance of ASEAN and Vietnam with the spirit of peace, friendship, freedom of aviation and navigation, and compliance with international law.
Payne said she will spare no effort to promote the relationship between the two countries, adding that Australian PM Scott Morrison attaches great importance to cooperation with Vietnam and hopes to visit the Southeast Asian country soon.
The minister congratulated Vietnam on becoming a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 term, which, she said, shows the increasingly important role of Vietnam in the international arena.
She agreed to PM Phuc’s proposal on stepping up bilateral trade and investment ties, saying the CPTPP has opened up many cooperation opportunities and many Australian businesses want to increase investment in Vietnam.
The minister said she will direct the Australian foreign ministry to expand new cooperation with Vietnam in the spirit of strategic partnership.
Australia is willing to support Vietnam in implementing its development priorities such as infrastructure, digital capacity, and cyber security as well as continue strengthening coordination with Vietnam in the East Sea matter to ensure regional peace, stability and prosperity, she affirmed.